Mythbusting: Can Spicy Foods Boost Your Metabolism?

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We all know that eating food means we’re also consuming calories. But is it possible that some foods or ingredients can actually help us burn calories, too?

Have you ever noticed how sometimes when you’re eating spicy foods you’ll actually start to sweat a little? Or if it’s an exceptionally fiery dish you may even sweat so much you look like you just finished a workout? Believe it or not, that’s not a coincidence. It’s actually your body reacting to the heat-generating spices in much the same way it reacts when exercise or activity generates excessive body heat – it’s trying to cool itself off and maintain a safe internal body temperature. But guess what else is happening? You’re actually burning more calories and boosting your metabolism.

Spicy Foods and Metabolism: How They Work Together

Hot peppers get their kick from a compound known as Capsaicin. It provides the heat you expect from adding peppers or hot sauce to your recipes or meals. The funny thing is that added heat actually bumps up your metabolism up a notch or two above what it would normally have been without the spices. That metabolism boost means you’re burning more calories. In fact, one study showed the jumpstart may be as much as 8 percent!

Another Canadian study showed that spicy foods may even help you eat less in the long run, with participants who had hot sauce with their pre-meal appetizers actually eating fewer calories throughout the rest of the day than their study counterparts who had no hot sauce. Black pepper and ginger, while not usually the first ingredients to come to mind when “hot and spicy” is mentioned, can also create comparable effects.

One important thing to remember, though: if you already suffer from heartburn or ulcers or are prone to them, adding spicy foods to your diet or drowning your meals in hot sauce can definitely aggravate an already painful situation. While the metabolic lift from spicy food seems to be legit, it’s a minor amount and should not be utilized as a means of immediate weight loss.

Source : Tristan Medical Care Centers