Capsaicin is the component in chili peppers that gives them their heat. Studies have linked capsaicin to a lower risk of chronic disease, and also weight loss. Capsaicin helps your body burn fat by boosting your metabolic rate. Studies also show that the heat from eating chili peppers activates your body’s fight or flight response. Therefore, because your body is under more stress, it burns more calories.*
The pill form of capsaicin has yet to establish proven weight loss effects, which is why it is best to reach for fresh chilies or ground red pepper such as cayenne. One quarter of a tablespoon of red pepper can do the trick, but if your body is used to spicy foods, you may need greater amounts of heat.
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Photo | Alessandro Giangiulio | Chili pepper | Used under a Creative Commons Attribution License