Does Spicy Food Raise Blood Pressure?

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The American Heart Association recommends that you don't eat more than one teaspoon of salt a day. That being said, eating bland food isn't fun at all. New studies have shown that spicy food can easily lower your desire for salt, and this subsequentially lowers your blood pressure. Experts have found that using a lot of spices when cooking is one of the best ways for you to cut down on your salt consumption without losing out on flavor. High blood pressure, or hypertension is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. Traces of capsaicin, which is the chemical that helps to give chili its pungent smell can enhance the perception that people have of salt.

Capsaicin is one of the compounds that make up capsaicinoids and this is what most people describe as spicy, or hot. It's a taste, but more of a sensation. A study was done on 606 adults in China, and it analyzed the taste preferences of each person. The study found that those who liked spicy foods had much lower blood pressure and they consumed way less salt than those who didn't. For this reason, it is clear to see that spicy food doesn't necessarily raise blood pressure. In fact, if you use spice in place of salt, it can lower it.

The Benefits of Eating Spicy Food

There are many benefits to eating spicy food, that go far beyond lowering your salt intake. Take a look below to find out more.

Boosting your Metabolism

A lot of the research that has been done on spicy food indicates that capsaicin boosts your body's ability to break down fat. Spicy food is ideal at revving up your body's metabolism and this can play a huge role in weight loss.

Controlling your Appetite

Chiles and various other spices can also affect your hunger. There has been a lot of research done on capsaicin, that shows it has an impact on the hypothalamus. This is the part of the brain that controls hunger and fullness. You may feel fuller sooner if you simply add a bit of spice to your meal.

Improving Heart Health

By helping to break down the fat in food, spices can easily boost your heart health. Studies have shown that spices can help to reduce high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. A study done by Vermont University found that those who eat chili peppers on a regular basis were 13% less likely to experience heart problems.

Boosting your Microbiome

Hot and fiery foods may sound unsuitable for someone who has a very sensitive stomach. That being said, there is a lot of evidence that shows that capsaicin is great for your gut. The microbiome is a community of bacteria, and it helps your body and your immune system to function. By eating more spices and hot foods, you'll soon find that you can boost yours and take advantage of the benefits.

So, there are many benefits to spicy food, and you'd be surprised at how easy it is for you to take advantage of them by simply incorporating them more into your current diet.

nutrition | spicy food | blood pressure