The benefits and harms of spicy foods for the human body, myths and truth about the effect of spicy foods on men and women

Do Hot Spices Help You Lose Weight? How does spicy affect digestion?

Let’s talk to a nutritionist.

Spices are essential in any kitchen. It does not matter if you add them to all the dishes or only when you cook pilaf once a month, it will not be unnecessary to know about the benefits and harms of hot spices.

Here are six popular judgments about spicy foods and find out which ones are true and which ones are not.

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A daily diet rich in herbs and spices contains antioxidants, minerals and multivitamins. They improve metabolism, create a feeling of satiety and prolong youth. In the right hands, this form of herbal medicine is delicious and safe.

In my opinion, every kind of pepper, turmeric, rosemary, star anise and ginger should be in every dish or mug.

Spicy food kills bacteria – true

Capsaicin is an ingredient in various fruits and spices that makes them delicious. It has antiseptic properties. There is a view that by eating spicy foods, we destroy bacteria and viruses that accompany food. This helps prevent diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

Have you ever wondered why Asian cuisine is so rich in spicy spices and sauces? Or why are raw fish served with ginger and wasabi?


Lydia: Chili, cumin, garlic, ginger and other hot spices kill most of the causative agents of gastrointestinal infections, E. coli and bacteria.

Capsaicin, which is abundant in chili peppers, kills Helicobacter pylori bacteria and is considered one of the best natural remedies for treating ulcers and gastritis caused by these bacteria.

Curcumin – the main substance that is part of turmeric root, has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antibacterial, antioxidant properties. At the same time, different varieties of peppers contain substances that enhance the effect of curcumin.

Carnations also have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.

What to do with zucchini?  5 healthy recipes
What to do with zucchini? 5 healthy recipes

Spicy foods help you lose weight

Researchers at Purdue University have shown that capsaicin can reduce hunger and increase energy expenditure. However, it speeds up the heart rate and raises the temperature. This, in turn, stimulates metabolism.


Obviously, you can not eat a lot of spicy foods. Even with a strong desire, it is unlikely to succeed. However, do not think that pepper is a magic pill for weight loss. This effect can only be achieved in combination with a calorie deficit and physical activity. Eating wheat chili buns with sweet ginger soda will not help you lose those extra pounds.

Lydia: The substances contained in hot spices reduce the levels of triglycerides in the blood, increase the number of enzymes in the liver that are involved in fat metabolism, speed up metabolism and activate the process of fat oxidation.

Capsaicin neutralizes chronic inflammation caused by fat cells and reduces the production of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for the feeling of hunger.

Spicy foods improve digestion – true, but there are nuances

Some believe it is a lie, others do not. Everyone is right in their own way.


Lydia: If a person has gastrointestinal diseases, then spicy food can cause inflammatory processes. In the absence of contraindications, spices will only benefit. The spices stimulate the secretion of gastric fluid, which improves blood flow to the walls of the stomach and helps to restore its mucous membrane.

Spicy food causes heartburn – true, but there are nuances

Heartburn is considered less than caustic spices. We understood above: spices increase the secretion of gastric fluid, which has a positive effect on digestion. However, excess juice can enter the esophagus and cause an unpleasant burning sensation. Therefore, it is always worth remembering the measure. If it is acute in small amounts, this will not happen.

Spicy food leads to gastritis – a myth


Lydia: There are several varieties of this disease depending on the irritant, but none of them are related to spicy foods.

However, doctors believe that the main “culprits” of gastritis – certain drugs and smoking. Spicy food does not cause gastritis, but causes pain in people with existing problems. Acute increases the secretion of acid in the stomach and with gastritis, its mucosa is already poorly protected.

What do vanilla, bergamot, sesame really look like?
What do vanilla, bergamot, sesame really look like?

Spicy foods can damage the taste buds – a myth

If you abuse spices, there is a chance that you will lose the taste for a while. However, this does not mean that you will never feel anything again. To protect the body from pain, capsaicin causes numbness in the mouth and loss of sensation. The taste buds send a signal to the brain for a burning sensation in the mouth and begin to produce endorphins to block the unpleasant sensations. This is what causes numbness.

Lydia: Like most other cells, the taste buds replace each other throughout life and wear out and die over time. There is no spicy food here.

How to include spices in the diet?

It takes time to get used to the hot spices. The main rule is to include the spices slowly and gradually. Many people mix hot spices with natural yogurt to have a milder taste.


In addition, it is important to remember that there are restrictions and contraindications to the use of spices:

  • stomach ulcer and duodenal ulcer 12.
  • ulcerative colitis in the acute phase.
  • hepatitis;
  • cholecystitis;
  • pancreatitis;
  • cholelithiasis.

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