Determined to lose weight? You might have to turn up the heat

Cayenne pepper, the powder form of red hot chilli peppers, is more than just a flavor additive. Studies have shown that ample amounts of cayenne pepper can aid in weight loss.

If you’re skeptical towards gimmicks and shady recommendations, I can’t blame you. However, I did the research to make sure this spice is no joke.


How cayenne pepper works for you

First it’s important to understand how cayenne pepper works in the body.

To break it down very simply, you first have to know that capsaicin is the chemical component of cayenne pepper. Capsaicin dilates your blood vessels, or makes them wider. This allows for more blood flow to the tissues. The more blood flow that reaches the tissues, the more oxygen and nutrients it can provide to vital organs.

Effects on your metabolism

This increase in circulation causes more heat to be released from the body during every day activities. The more heat you release, the faster your metabolism.

You probably know that metabolism plays a major role in weight loss because it is how quickly and efficiently your body burns calories. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you can burn in a day.

Cayenne pepper study

A study conducted at Purdue University noted the effects of cayenne pepper on 25 non-overweight people. The group was divided into 13 people who liked spicy foods and 12 people who did not like spicy foods.

They were each given a certain amount of dried, ground cayenne red pepper; however the group that prefers spicy foods was given six times the amount of cayenne pepper than the group that didn’t like spices.

The results revealed that as much as a little less than a teaspoon of cayenne pepper a day increased basal metabolism. But what they also found, is that capsaicin can also reduce appetite.

Among the participants who did not prefer or who are unfamiliar with cayenne pepper – or those who did not consume cayenne pepper regularly, they found that their appetite decreased.

Beneficial in other areas

What’s interesting about this finding is that the subjects experienced a decrease in hunger for salty, fatty and sugary foods.

With these two factors combined, cayenne pepper might be a food to include when trying to achieve long term weight loss. More research is needed to determine how long the effects last once you become familiar with the spice.

cayenne pepper metabolism_2

Alternative to salt

Cayenne pepper is also a great flavor alternative to salt.

Many people with diabetes and hypertension struggle with their food choices. They are often told to limit their sodium intake which can be a difficult feat. Looking for spice substitutions can be challenging. But with the robustness of cayenne pepper and its positive effects on the body this maybe a good recommendation.

Bring cayenne pepper into your meals

If spicy food isn’t your thing, you might be at a loss. Even small amounts of cayenne pepper pack a punch. But it wouldn’t hurt to try one of these recipe suggestions, you might just find something you like!

If you have never tried kale chips, you’re missing out. Drizzle some olive oil on some fresh, washed kale and pop it in the oven on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. I like to sprinkle some cayenne pepper on top to give them a kick.

If you want something a little more refreshing, cut up some strawberries and melon along with half of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and stir it in your water. You’ll find the mix of flavors surprisingly sweet and spicy, you won’t want to put the glass down.

Or try adding it to your broth to make your soups a little more exciting! Cayenne pepper pairs well with chicken and avocado. Cool it down with a dollop of low-fat sour cream.

Get to your goal

Remember that cayenne pepper shouldn’t be your only solution for achieving your weight loss goals. Keep your metabolism top-notch by getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days per week.

Drink plenty of water and slowly train yourself to become an intuitive eater!

Listening to your body’s natural hunger and satiety cues will help keep you satisfied and resistant to overeating.

When you combine cayenne pepper along with these other changes, you’ll be sure to get the results you want. Bring on the heat!

Read more from Expert Bonnie Giller.


Purdue University Study: Reasonable quantities of red pepper may help curb appetite

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