Spicy eating: benefits and contraindications

Spicy eating: benefits and contraindications

Benefits of chili

There are more than 3000 varieties of chilli, in the country the most cultivated species is the red pepper (capsicum annuum), an annual plant of American origin, belonging to the Solanaceae family


The main feature of this spice is the spiciness due to capsaicin, an alkaloid present in varying concentrations according to the different species. 


This spice has a lot of beneficial properties, stimulates blood circulation, has antibacterial properties since it promotes the maintenance and integrity of food, helps lower cholesterol and activates the metabolism


In the regions where its use is widespread, a decrease in diseases such as heart attack and atherosclerosis has been seen. 


The chilli pepper helps fight water retention (we can therefore consider it an ally to lose weight) and hypertension due to excessive consumption of sodium. According to recent studies, its properties have also been interesting in the case of type 2 diabetes but studies are underway to prove it efficiency in the prevention of tumors


In a recent study by Ruhr University in Bochum, it was seen how the active ingredient of the chili pepper is able to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell suicide, and to inhibit the growth of breast cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer cells.


In addition, in the intestine the chili has an anti-pitting and anti-fermentative action. It prevents toxins from passing into the blood. It's a'preventive action particularly useful in a type of diet like the modern one with refined foods, without waste and a long stay of the food in the intestine. 

When to avoid spicy foods

Spicy foods are generally very healthy, provided that you do not have specific pathologies of the gastrointestinal system or allergies.


Particular caution must be used by who suffers from ulcer, gastroenteritis e cystitis, from pregnant women or in the period of nursing And in the children under 12 years which have a more delicate digestive system. 


It is important not to exceed the quantities of spicy foods that you take, as if you take excessive doses pepper and chilli can severely irritate the internal mucous membranes, mainly the intestine and urinary tract, in severe cases causing the appearance of traces of blood in the urine. 


Did you know that ...

Capsaicin is soluble in alcohol or fat, so if you want to dull the burning felt on the taste buds after ingesting a particularly hot pepper, it may be helpful to drink a glass of wine or eat cheese or a sauce made from whole yogurt


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