Spicing up your food: 8 unexpected health benefits

I don't know about you, but I love spicy food. To me, no dish is truly complete unless it is satisfyingly singeing my taste buds.

Everyone's tastes are different and some are, understandably, a little averse to food that has the potential to burn their mouth. But if you have been curious about turning up the heat on your food, or even trying out a few more exotic spices, we have some amazing news!

Spices of different varieties—ranging from hot chilies to seasonings—that are meant to make your food flavorful can have extremely positive effects on your health, too. Think of your spice cabinet as somewhat of a medicine cabinet, filled with different organic ingredients that can help treat everything from stuffiness to weight gain.

Make sure to scroll through below for several incredible and surprising benefits that you can reap by simply spicing up your life—in the kitchen that is!

Close up of spices in measuring spoons

Spices are ground-up seed, fruit, root, bark, berry, bud, or vegetable substances that are primarily used to add flavor and aromas to food.

Different from herbs, which are primarily used for flavoring, spices can preserve food as well as make it taste better.

There are thousands of different spices used in cultures around the world, all of which have their own flavors ranging from sweet to super spicy.

But Why Spices?

korean image,red pepper

Throughout time, people have used spices for far more than flavor.

Since many spices have antimicrobial properties, meaning they kill microorganisms, they have been used as medicines to remedy different aches and pains.

Below are benefits of ingesting spices that you may already have in your kitchen!

Benefit #1: Spices Are Good For Your Waistline

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Adding almost any spice to your food will make it flavorful, which will make it taste better.

So putting it on healthy food that may be lacking in the taste department will trick you into eating something delicious that is also good for you.

Incorporating spices into your meal also means that it will be more satisfying, which can stop you from eating more than you need to.

Benefit #2: Spices Reduce Sodium Intake

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We all know that salt can make almost anything delicious.

But too much sodium can slowly raise your blood pressure, which can strain your heart, arteries, and brain.

Making your food flavorful with spicy chilies or aromatic parsley, cloves, or sage can eliminate the need to add more salt to it.

Benefit #3: Spices Increase Metabolism

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According to Better Nutrition, the capsaicin in cayenne and other chilies stimulates your body's metabolism by raising your body heat.

So when you eat food that heats up your body, it is also heating up your body's fat-burning engine.

Benefit #4: Spices Help Prevent Heart Disease

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Garlic and ginger powder are natural blood thinners, so they help keep blood pumping healthily through your body.

Cinnamon is sweet for your health in numerous ways: It lowers blood sugar and is packed with antioxidants.

Mixing these powders can not only make a yummy rub, it can also be a heart-healthy concoction.

Benefit #5: Spices Stop Stuffed-Up Sinuses

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Anyone who has ever taken a bite of spicy food knows the feeling of having a heat wave rush down your throat.

But that heat can also shoot through your sinuses and nose, clearing them of any junk with its fiery properties.

So the next time you have a cold or allergies, try eating spicy food to clear your head right up.

Benefit #6: Spices Fight Stomach Trouble

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Not only is it widely believed that spicy food may aid with ulcers, garlic powder and turmeric can actually help get rid of them.

Peptic ulcers are sores that form along the digestive track, causing pain that can be felt all along the front of the body.

The aforementioned bacteria-fighting properties of spices like these can help clear out the painful sores.

Benefit #7: Spices Promote Longevity

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Taken from a study done by Time, compared to people who ate spicy foods less than once a week, people who ate them once or twice a week had a 10 percent reduced risk of death.

Along with all of the other perks that help keep your body healthy and properly functioning, spices have generally been found to fight a host of dangerous diseases.

Benefit #8: Spices Combat Stress And Anxiety

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According the Everyday Health, turmeric's anti-inflammatory properties help give your body an overall sense of well-being, which is a total mood-booster.

These spices can quite literally spice up your life!

How Much Spice Is Too Much Spice?

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Every spice has its own flavor profile, so the amount you can safely use in your food depends on its flavor.

If you are new to spicy food, don't jump in the spicy deep end right off the bat. Trying milder flavors that create a warm full-mouth heat can help introduce your palate to heat.

In no time, you will be adding heat and seasoning to food like a pro—and feeling great while doing it!

If you love spicy food as much as we do, make sure to SHARE this with family and friends on Facebook.

Watch the video below to learn more about the benefits of spicy food!

Spicy Food and Longevity

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