Cut Your Appetite With Red Peppers
Some like it hot – and if you do – there’s a good chance you’ll eat less. A new study shows that about one half-teaspoon of dried, ground cayenne red pepper can help to curb appetite. And it also turns out that if you haven’t been eating red pepper, it acts as an even stronger appetite suppressant.
The six-week study was conducted at Purdue University and involved 25 people of healthy weight. Thirteen subjects liked spicy food and 12 did not. The preferred level of pepper for each group was determined in advance, and those who did not like red pepper preferred 0.3 grams compared with regular spice users who preferred 1.8 grams. One gram is the equivalent of one-half teaspoon.
In general, the red pepper consumption increased core body temperature and burned more calories through natural energy expenditure. Plus, the study found those who did not consume red pepper regularly experienced a decrease of hunger, especially for fatty, salty and sweet foods.
The findings also showed that red pepper should be consumed in non-capsule form because the taste - the sensory experience - maximizes the digestive process. It turns out you get a more robust effect if you include the sensory part because the burn contributes to a rise in body temperature, energy expenditure and appetite control. The hot results were published in the journal Physiology & Behavior.
FYI: That’s not all the hot pepper can do. Cayenne’s main ingredient, capsaicin, is found as an ingredient in many arthritis and muscle pain ointments and salves; the heat helps relieve pain caused by overexertion, as well as the pain stemming from arthritis.
Robin Westen is ThirdAge’s medical reporter. Check for her daily updates.
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