It’s no secret that chili peppers are loaded with health benefits. After all, there are numerous studies out there that tout a pepper’s attributes; from helping relieve pain to improving longevity and promoting weight loss. Combined with regular exercise, capsaicin, the spicy part of the pepper, is already said to help boost metabolism and reduce food cravings. A brand new study, however, suggests it may do even more than that when it comes to winning the battle of the bulge.
A team of Wyoming pharmaceutical researchers found that consuming capsaicin turns unhealthy white fat cells into brown, calorie-burning fat. In the study, researchers made the capsaicin into pill form, allowing the spicy heat to release slowly, and tried it out on mice eating a high fat diet. For eight months the mice were able to maintain weight loss, plus researchers also saw improvements in things such as cholesterol levels and blood sugar. The next step is to see how long that capsaicin-induced weight loss lasts, and possibly to test it out on humans in the future.
While researchers say the theory of directly tying hot peppers to continued weight loss sounds pretty great, they do caution that capsaicin naturally found in spicy food isn’t absorbed by the body in the same way. Still, though, past studies have already found that hot peppers do seem to speed up metabolism, help you burn calories and help you curb your appetite by allowing you to feel fuller, thereby cutting out some of those bad food cravings. It’s logical that this would lead to weight loss as you consume fewer calories. If all this has you craving a little extra spice in your diet, don’t feel shy about adding some heat to your next meal or snack. After all, it could at least help with the battle of the bulge.