Several studies suggest that eating spicy foods can increase metabolic rate by increasing temperature.
Capsaicin, the compound that lends red chili pepper its potent kick, creates the biggest bump in heat generation, which helps burn more calories immediately after a meal. Ginger and black pepper have been shown to produce similar results.
Moreover, studies have shown that on average a meal containing a spicy dish, like a bowl of chili, can temporarily increase metabolism by about 8 percent over a person’s normal rate, an amount considered negligible at best. But besides a slight boost in metabolism, spicy foods may also increase feelings of satiety.
One study looked at a group of adult men and found that those who were served hot sauce with appetizers before a meal went on to consume roughly 200 fewer calories at lunch and in later meals than their peers, who did not consume anything with capsaicin. The researchers suggested that capsaicin may function as an appetite suppressant.
Still, people mustn't forget that spicy foods can also worsen symptoms of ulcers and heartburn.
How often do you eat spicy food? Would you consider eating more of it after reading this?