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What are the benefits of spicy foods?

chili pepper

Spicy foods: what they are, why include them in our diet and what benefits they bring to our metabolism.

Many people love spicy foods, although eating a lot of them can be a challenge for those with a low level of heat tolerance . If you are among the many who love strong foods, you are probably wondering if abounding with pepper or chilli has healthy effects or is instead harmful to our health. Let's try to clarify, establishing the main pros and cons of including this type of "lively" food in our diet.

Spicy foods: what they are

There are several foods that stimulate the sensation of spiciness on our palate. On the other hand, there are over three thousand varieties of chilli peppers in Italy alone, and this can give an idea of ​​how great the choice is for lovers of this type of food.

chili pepper
chili pepper

In general, there are some foods that are still considered spicier than average. In addition to chilli, we remember the chili , very common in Mexico, wasabi , a specialty of Asian and Japanese cuisine in particular, or even ginger , which has a pungent but more aromatic than spicy flavor.

The sensation of real spiciness, however, is typical of chilli, a spice originally from America. The effect on our taste buds is given in detail by capsaicin , an alkaloid present in different concentrations depending on the different type of chili. This is why some seem stronger than others.

The benefits of spicy food

There are several benefits that spicy foods can offer our body. For example, they help us lose weight by lowering cholesterol and activating the metabolism, as well as counteracting water retention. They are useful to fight inflammation, to improve the health of our heart , to allow us a more correct digestion , to kill bacteria and to strengthen the immune system. They can also help improve our mood and reduce our stress , and often improve sleep quality. However, even with food you need to keep the balance and not overdo the doses.

Spicy foods: contraindications

There are some risks associated with spicy food intake. In particular, you need to keep in mind that spicy may cause mild stomach irritation , especially if you're not used to it. Also for this reason, excess spiciness can often cause digestive disorders, causing muscle contractions in the stomach and therefore a burning sensation, nausea and vomiting. In some cases, the spiciness could even cause an ulcer .

In short, in general it is not a kind of food that is harmful to health in an absolute sense, but it is important to keep in mind that they could be. If you eat too spicy, negative health effects can occur. Hence, it is important to enjoy these delicacies in moderation .

Can I eat spicy when pregnant?

One of the old questions pregnant women face is whether they can enjoy their usual spicy meal. There is no right answer, as each woman will have different reactions . However, there are some things you need to know.

In general, it is not advised against . In fact, some pregnant women find that they need more heat during their pregnancies to combat the nausea and morning sickness that often accompanies those nine months. However, it is important to be careful with the flavors we choose. Some can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. These effects are typically mild and temporary , but they can be a concern for pregnant women with preeclampsia or other health conditions. If you are pregnant and have never eaten spicy food before, it is best to start with something more delicate like paprika. And, as always, it's important to speak to a doctor before making any major changes to your diet during pregnancy.

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