Life in the 21st century has become sedentary for many people. Modern entertainment, fast food, lack of time, etc. contributes to only about 4 out of every 10 people exercising on a regular basis. As a result, many people find it very hard to lose weight and keep it off.
There is some good news though; recent studies have shown that spicy foods can curb appetite and speed up metabolism and thus have a fat burning ability. “How?” you might ask. Hot spices, especially chiles, may inhibit overeating because they contribute to satiety, the feeling of fullness after eating. Not to mention it may be more difficult to overindulge in a hot, spicy food due to the fact that you may become uncomfortable before you can overeat.
In addition to making people feel full faster, chili powder and many other spices have a thermogenic effect. This results in the body heating itself from within, which revs up the metabolism. The term metabolism describes the sum of all chemical processes that take place in the body. It manages the movement of nutrients in the blood after digestion which results in growth, energy and other body functions.
Certain spices cause our bodies to burn extra calories by boosting the metabolic rate and thus stimulating weight loss. Some studies have found that adding thermogenic spices at a meal can increase the number of calories burned by 25% for up to an hour after the meal. Hey every little bit helps! The following spice have been shown to have this effect to some degree:
Black Pepper- Black pepper has been shown to raise the body temperature and increase metabolism. “Found in dried black pepper, piperine may prevent new fat cells from forming,”. It also has been shown to aid in digestion because when it is eaten, a signal is sent to your stomach to produce hydrochloric acid.
This acid is necessary for the digestion of protein and other foods in the stomach. When not enough hydrochloric acid is produced by the stomach, the results can range from gas and indigestion to diarrhea. Black Pepper also has been found to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
Here are some creative ways to obtain more black pepper:
Consume your pepper
A sprinkle of black pepper in your chai tea or turmeric golden milk adds an extra little kick to your early morning beverage. If you drink bone broth, include some spice to it with a little freshly-ground black pepper.
Spice up your fruit
Try fresh ground pepper next time you nosh on melon pieces during the summer season. Add pepper to your favorite homemade raspberry vinaigrette or set the spice with acidic fruits like pineapple or tart plums.
Use black pepper essential oil
A drop or two of black pepper essential oil to a pot of vegetarian chili or your favorite pasta sauce packs a huge punch of healthy flavor. Add the oil slowly and taste test as you prepare if you’re sensitive to the heat.
Don’t be afraid to add pepper to rubs for grass-fed steaks, marinades for grilled veggies or even your fruit healthy smoothies. The sweet taste of strawberries, in specific, blends perfectly with fresh ground pepper
Other health benefits of black pepper
Various research studies show that black pepper can assist alleviate aches and discomforts through its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Even when applied topically, black pepper assists ease physical pain.
In a 2014 research study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, topics who experienced neck discomfort applied a cream of black pepper, marjoram, peppermint and lavender necessary oils to their necks every day over four weeks. The group who utilized the cream experienced enhanced pain tolerance and enhanced neck pain.