Now that we're at summer's doorstep, it sure is getting HOT out there.
And while reaching for refreshing summer produce like cucumbers and watermelon can cool you down, SPICY foods can actually do the same!
That's because a compound that gives hot peppers their spiciness -- called capsaicin -- also triggers your sweat glands, causing your body to cool itself down .
And according to the latest research, the "burn" of capsaicin won't just help you beat the heat -- it can even help you melt off excess pounds.
This morning, I shared with you how being on the bigger side can up your chances of developing 12 different types of cancer. To shed that weight, I recommended getting a little more activity and adopting the Paleo diet.
But as it turns out, those aren’t your only options.
In this latest meta-analysis, Iranian researchers reviewed a bundle of high-quality studies that looked at the effects of capsaicin on weight loss.
And if you love spicy food, it’s time to rejoice, because study after study found that capsaicin led to SIGNIFICANT weight loss in humans when compared to a placebo.
The theory is that when capsaicin hits your system and gets you sweating, it turbo-charges your metabolism, helping you burn more calories and fat… without lifting a finger.
Plus, spicy foods can make you feel full more quickly than bland foods -- and they satisfy the same parts of your brain that light up when you eat salt .
That means that when you top your fish, meat, or veggie dishes with some spicy salsa, you'll be less likely to crave that bowl of salty, carbo-bomb tortilla chips.
And capsaicin's benefits don't stop at your waistline. Their anti-inflammatory properties have been shown in studies to slash your risk of heart disease... respiratory problems... and even cancer.
We also know that capsaicin has antimicrobial properties that can kill the bad bugs in your gut, allowing for a healthier balance of bacteria in your belly that favors weight loss.
So, when you fire up the grill this summer, don't be shy about "firing up" your mouth!
Milder types of peppers like shishito and jalapeño are great on their own grilled up as a side dish, while tongue-scorchers like habaneros and "ghost peppers" (the world’s hottest chili) are easier to handle when chopped up and used sparingly, like in a big pot of chili.
The hotter the pepper, the more concentrated its content of capsaicin -- but you don't need to start a four-alarm blaze in your mouth to reap the benefits.
Try adding a pinch of cayenne or chili powder to your savory dishes... or you can even sprinkle a dash of these powdered peppers over sweet fruits like mango or pineapple, like they do south of the border.