Spice up your life to lose weight
Once in a while a little bit of good news comes out of the research into what foods are good and bad for you. While I am not holding my breath for the “wine eats flab” headline, or the article that suggests a kilo of carbonara shrinks the hips, I am quietly pleased at the research and findings that have been reached when looking into the spicy chilli pepper.
I have been a chilli fiend for a number of years having worked and travelled in South East Asia. I mix it with butter, add it to soups and cook with it on most days. The good news is that chillies are healthy and research has found that consuming them can lead to weight loss.
A 2012 study identified that in chillies, the capsaicin, the active ingredient in chilli that packs the heat, also speeds up the body’s metabolism. It is thought that the heat in the chilli triggers a pain response in the brain putting it into ‘fight or flight’ mode, resulting in increased fuel burning to supply the body with the energy it may need. This report, by Whiting,Derbyshire and Tiwari, concluded that capsaicin assists weight loss in three ways: by boosting the body’s fat-burning abilities, speeding up the metabolism and reducing energy intake by suppressing hunger.
An earlier study University of California also found that, when included as part of a low-calorie diet, chillies push the body to burn stored fat as fuel and aid weight loss by raising body temperature, a process called thermo-genesis.
All these findings are good enough for me. Come on girls, spice up your life.