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Spice Up Your Life

spice up your life

Image thanks to Iwan Gabovitch

Chili lovers, celebrate! Curry fans, rejoice! We’ve got good news for you.

They say a little spice can do more for you than just add some kick to a meal. It might actually help keep a person’s weight down, believe it or not. Regardless, spices will enhance the healthiness of a dish as well as the flavor.

Spicy foods boost your metabolism. The reason you feel a “burn” is because of the chemical reaction going on. Your body kind of wants to get it out, and so it will speed things up to do so.

And as variety is the spice of life, life has a variety of spices. Let’s take a look at some of them now…

Chili

Well, it seems one of the responsible parties in all this is capsaicin, the component in chili peppers that gives them their pizazz. It’s a natural defense in these plants, irritating the tissue of any mammal it touches. The parts of a plant that are richest in it are the inner walls where the seeds attach.

They even have a way to measure just how spicy hot your food gets with the Scoville scale. It’s like a thermometer for that burn that goes all the way from relatively-boring bell pepper to oh-sweet-Lord-no pepper spray.  And remember, if your spicy food is too spicy, you shouldn’t go for a glass of water, as that will just make it worse. Capsaicin is insoluble in water. Remember to drink some milk, instead.

Cinnamon

Oh Cinnamon, how I do love thee. And from all the benefits it provides, cinnamon must love us back.

What can it do besides smell like Christmas, you ask? Fight candida infections with its antifungal properties, that’s what. And stabilize your blood sugar which helps your weight loss effort, that’s what else. And because it helps blood sugar levels and insulin production, that may help with some types of diabetes.

And that distinctive smell boosts your brain function, giving a jolt to cognition and memory, which is why I feel smarter around snickerdoodles.

Curry

The thing that zings in curry is curcumin (turmeric), and it has a bunch of health benefits to offer. Many scientific studies are looking for its positive effects on things like cancer and arthritis. It’s also been shown to have some anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.

Need some healthy spicy recipes? Check out:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/spicy_recipes#leaderboardad

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