6 Possible Health Benefits Of Hot Sauce
Don’t you just love when what you love is good for you? Everything in moderation of course – but knowing that some of your favorite foods are healthy definitely is a huge bonus. It’s the same with hot sauce because it’s considered a healthy condiment! And while hot sauce itself won’t cure diseases or illnesses, scientific studies and research point at hot sauce having some health benefits, especially ones that don’t have sodium or added sugar – like Pisqueya! In fact, long before science suggested health benefits from peppers, indigenous people like the Tainos believed in the healing powers of this fruit.
In addition to adding flavor without the calories, here are 6 benefits to consuming hot sauce – some of which may surprise you!
Hot Sauce Can Improve Your Immune System
Often containing sources of vitamins A and C, there’s no wonder hot sauce can potentially support a healthy immune system. Hot sauce also has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, protecting against bacteria and helping fight infections in your digestive system. Hot sauce can also help increase blood flow and overall circulation, which improves your health.
Hot Sauce Can Assist in Halting Cancer Growth
Say what? Yep, you heard/read that right! In addition to chili peppers having vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and carotenoids – which are all great for the body – it also has capsaicin, which can slow the growth of cancer cells in the body and even kill them! A UCLA study found that capsaicin inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells in mice while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Further studies have also shown capsaicin aiding in halting cancer growth in other parts of the body. Although this is a great discovery, further research and trials are needed in humans.
Hot Sauce Can Increase Your Metabolism & Reduce Fat
Studies from Maastricht University and Purdue University have shown that capsaicin also boosts the body’s ability to break down fat and burn more energy. There are also studies that suggest capsaicin keeps you full longer because it acts on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls hunger and fullness. Because of this ingredient and because hot sauce doesn’t pack on any extra calories, it can aid in weight loss and weight management. Of course, packing hot sauce onto an unhealthy meal will not magically help, so you need a combination of a healthy diet and enough exercise as well – but anything additional to give you that extra boost must be appreciated!
Hot Sauce Can Reduce the Risk for Diabetes
Research has shown that consuming hot chili peppers can help in more ways than one, and one of those ways is reducing the risk of diabetes. One study suggests that hot sauce containing chili peppers can help reduce the amount of insulin needed to digest food, also lowering blood pressure. With that being said, hot sauce is a good addition to diabetic diets.
Hot Sauce Can Improve Heart Health
You know what else chili peppers can lower? Heart rate. A study also found that chili peppers can lower your blood pressure as well. They also increase blood flow, which in turn improves heart and other organ functions. Additionally, the healing properties of capsaicin are at work again here. This ingredient can also reduce total cholesterol levels in your blood by reducing “bad” cholesterol. You know what this means? It could possibly reduce the chance of heart attacks and strokes!
Hot Sauce Can Help You Live Longer
With all the statements mentioned above, it makes sense that hot sauce can help you live longer. Although it’s not the fountain of youth or eternal life, a study conducted in China suggested that adults who consumed hot sauce three or more times a week increased their longevity. Participants reduced their risk of early death by 14%, compared to those who didn’t include spicy food in their diet. Additionally, another study found that people who consumed chili peppers reduced their risk of death from any cause by 25%. These are great findings, but more research is needed in a further controlled environment to determine how exactly these peppers can best optimize health benefits.
Native Americans and Tainos have used spicy peppers for medicinal purposes for over 9,000 years – long before scientific studies pointed at some of these benefits. The chili pepper, specifically, was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus when he brought back peppers from his voyage to the Americas. He got them from Quisqueya (also known as Hispaniola), the island that Dominican Republic and Haiti share today. You can read more about Tainos and Christopher Columbus’ history in one of our other blog posts here.
Now that there are scientific studies that back up the many potential health benefits to the natural compounds and ingredients found in certain hot sauces, we know that adding it to our diet (in moderation) can help us in multiple ways – Pisqueya hot sauce is no exception.We hope you enjoy this National Hot Sauce Day by learning of the potential benefits of a condiment so many of us adore and by whipping up some spicy dishes! Need inspiration? Check out our delicious recipes here.