Weight loss, heart health, lower blood pressure and pain relief are some of the potential benefits of eating spicy foods. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, has particularly shown to have some health benefits.

For those who find spicy foods to be irritating, taking a capsaicin supplement may be a beneficial alternative.

Weight Loss

Adding spices to food can stimulate the metabolism, helping with weight loss. According to studies, capsaicin has a thermogenic effect and may cause the body to burn more calories after an individual is done eating.

Heart Health

Some research has shown that eating a diet with a lot of spicy foods was correlated to lower risks of having a heart attack. There hasn't been enough research done to explain why spicy foods are related to lower heart attack risk, but researchers believe that it may be because hot peppers reduce the effects of bad cholesterol, and capsaicin has been shown to fight inflammation.

Spicy foods contain vitamins A and C, and these vitamins have shown to strengthen the heart wall muscles. Researchers believe that the heat from hot peppers also increases blood flow throughout the body.

Pain Relief

Capsaicin is an active ingredient found in some over-the-counter pain relief creams. Using this type of cream has a concentrated amount of capsaicin and has shown to be an effective method of relief from arthritis, shingles and some kinds of headaches.