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Monday, March 15, 2010

Can Hot Chili Peppers Help You Lose Weight?

by Jan Peterson
(Image courtesy of xandert/morguefile)

Pop a Few Jalapenos and Boost Your Metabolism!

Hot chili peppers are used in many dishes in the United States Southwest where they are served up almost everywhere, from the corner taco stand to the trendiest restaurants. And while many dishes that include hot peppers can be greasy and fattening, the peppers themselves can actually encourage weight loss!

Hot Peppers Contain Capsaicin

Capsaicin is an active component in hot peppers, including jalapenos, chili peppers and red peppers. The Jalapeno Madness website states that Capsaicin is thermogenic, stimulating the body's fat burning furnace thereby increasing metabolism. Wikipedia's Capsaicin entry supports this, saying "According to animal and human studies, the oral intake of capsaicin may increase the production of heat by body [sic] for a short time."
And luckily, in the food preparation or storage process that might be involved when using chili peppers, it is helpful to know that capsaicin can survive both the cooking and freezing processes. Hot peppers are low on the glycemic index and can also provide satiety, helping you feel full quicker!

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