(NaturalHealth365) A hot tamale may be a heart healthy menu choice from a medical standpoint. The latest evidence is that a three alarm fire in the mouth may offer life-saving benefits. It seems that chili peppers have the potential to protect against heart disease in the developed world, according to a report shared at the 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society held in San Diego.
Healthy (scientific) news for your heart
The study focused on capsaicin and its fiery-hot cousins, a family of substances termed “capsaicinoids.” The stuff that gives cayenne, jalapenos, habaneros and other chili peppers their heat. Past research has shown that chilies have the ability to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and slow down the tendency for blood clots to form.
Dr. Yu Chen, who presented the study said: “Our research has reinforced and expanded knowledge about how these substances in chilies work in improving heart health,” and went on to say further, “We now have a clearer picture and more detailed portrait of their innermost effects on genes and other mechanism that influence cholesterol and the health of blood vessels.”
The team found that capsaicin and other close cousins chemically boosts heart function in two ways, one they lower cholesterol levels by reducing accumulated cholesterol in the body and increases its breakdown and excretion in the feces, second it blocks the action of a gene which makes arteries contract restricting the flow of blood to the heart and organs.
The teams found indications that capsaicinoids may reduce the size of deposits of “bad” cholesterol and not affect levels of so-called ‘good’ cholesterol. The most exciting news was that the team found indications that capaicinoids may reduce the size of plaque deposits, which already have formed in blood vessels.
Hot peppers are known to relieve headaches and sinus inflammation, because of its unique thermal heat action, and its ability to increase metabolic activity makes weight loss easier.
Studies show when capsaicin is ingested it activates the body’s circulation, while inhibiting the nerve receptors that cause swelling and pain. Capsaicin also increases blood flow to the stomach and stimulates production of digestive juices.
How to spice up your life
Unless there is a reason that you can’t eat any thing that is spicy, adding some hot peppers to a few recipes is a good practice. Many people pickle peppers, use ancho chilies, chipotle, banana and other peppers to enhance their meal.
Cherry pepper’s are typically mild and are good for pickling, and they can be added to sandwiches. Banana peppers are used to make sweet and hot mustard. Salsa is a good way to get in a little bit of hot flavors without adding too much heat.
Ways to lose the heat, remove the seeds and white membrane, soak the peppers in white vinegar for a day before cooking or water and salt an hour before cooking, use a recipe that calls for creamy dressings, tomatoes or lemon juice – which can neutralizes the (intense) pepper taste.
Just remember – a little goes a long way in adding flavor to any dish. With this in mind you can maximize your heart health, improve your digestion and detoxify without feeling the heat.
About the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.