FOOD: Playing With Fire: 5 Good Reasons to Eat Spicy
The "hotter the better" and "I dare you" attitude gives the spicy cook a category all their own. Never a rule follower, I use recipes as inspiration and rarely follow them. I love lots of kick and want my food to scream “wow”!
But besides the burning sensation, sweating, and other physical effects caused by spicy foods there are also some positive health benefits!
Here are just 5 good reason to kick things up a notch:
- Your Waistline: Studies show that the main compound in chilies, called capsaicin, has a thermogenic effect and may cause the body to burn more calories for 20 minutes post chow-down.
- Your Heart: Studies show that cultures that eat the spiciest foods have much lower incidence of heart attack and stroke. Potential reasons: Chili peppers can reduce the damaging effects of LDL (bad cholesterol) and capsaicin may fight inflammation, which has been flagged as a risk factor for heart issues.
- Your Cells: According to the American Association for Cancer Research, capsaicin has the ability to kill some cancer and leukemic cells. One particular spice, turmeric, found in curry powder and some mustards, may slow the spread of cancer and growth of tumors.
- Your Blood Pressure: Vitamins A and C strengthen the heart muscle walls, and the heat of the pepper increases blood flow throughout your body. All of this equals a stronger cardiovascular system.
- Your Mood: Spicy foods boost production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin. So they may help ease depression and stress.
Regardless of the health effects, I like spicy food and encourage everyone to kick their tacos, wraps, nachos and eggs up a notch with my super simple salsa recipe.
Sue’s Fiery Jalepeno Salsa
A word of advice: make sure you give fair warning to your friends and family before serving up these power packed dishes! ;) (Yields: 6 half pints or make fresh and store in refrigerator)
6 large seeded chopped peeled tomatoes
2 cups seeded chopped green peppers
1 cup seeded jalapeno pepper, chopped
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cups cider or wine vinegar
Combine tomatoes, peppers, onions, salt, garlic, and vinegar in a large pot.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Pour into hot jars leaving 1/4 teaspoon head space an adjust the caps
Process for 30 minutes in boiling water bath.