Is spicy food good for you? Well, we definitely hope so because, at Country Archer, we love spice. And we love food that’s good for us. And we love food that tastes amazing. As it turns out, those three things all come together pretty well. Here are just a few of the health benefits of spicy food:
We’ve written about other dietary changes that can help reduce inflammation – like boosting your Omega 3 intake, switching to grass-fed beef, or cutting down on sugar and processed foods. You can add spicy foods to that list too! Capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat in peppers – is a known anti-inflammatory1 (yes, even when it feels like you are actually on fire). If you are not the super-hot-pepper type, no worries – even the milder black pepper has some documented anti-inflammatory properties.2
Metabolism Boost & Appetite Control
Capsaicin shows promise as a way to reduce appetite and calorie intake.3 And while a lot of those studies look at capsaicin supplements (i.e. in capsule form where you aren’t getting the full force of the heat), actually tasting spicy foods can offer even more benefits. That mouth-on-fire feeling raises your core body temperature, so you burn a few more calories as a result.4 Now, this metabolism boost isn’t enough to give you six-pack abs on its own, but if you’re aiming to drop a few pounds, opting for healthy snacks with some serious spice can help.
Despite popular belief, spicy food (specifically capsaicin) can actually help prevent stomach ulcers and doesn’t cause them.5 In fact, spicy foods are thought to increase stomach fluid production and speed up digestion.6 Just use your own judgment here – a lot of spice can be irritating for people who already have some stomach issues, so trust your gut (literally).
Serious spice lovers sometimes report a light stimulating effect or “runners’ high” type feeling when they get a spicy fix. And there’s a good reason for that. The burn of our favorite spicy foods triggers a mild pain response, which in turn triggers a release of endorphins, your body’s natural pain relievers, and “feel good” chemicals.7 And just so we’re clear you can’t *actually* get high from spicy foods – just a little happy rush.
One caveat to all this: the spicy food you’re eating actually has to be healthy to get the benefits. Those deep-fried buffalo wings are just going to counteract any benefits you might have gotten from the spice. So instead, might we suggest some spicy grass-fed beef jerky made with all-natural ingredients? Find the heat level that’s right for you with our Spicy Jerky Ranking and then have a pack (or five) delivered right to your door!