To Make It Hot, You’ve Gotta Make It Spicy

By D.C. Tworek, CPT, Bachelor of Science Nutrition

Every woman would love to discover that one magical ingredient that will make her slim, sexy and a goddess in the bedroom.  Well, just maybe that magic food exists, but you will have to train your taste buds to handle a whole lot of sizzle.

A recent meta-analysis of the chemical capsaicin, which make hot peppers, well, hot, uncovered evidence that spicy foods fire-up your metabolism and squelch your appetite.  And there’s a bonus – scientists already know that spicy peppers are one more way to ignite your libido. So, it may be worth spending a little time making your dishes sizzle with a few peppers or consume concentrated capsules of capsaicin, to discover a life that’s a little hotter – in all the best ways possible.

In 2006, The New York Times reported a study validating the claim that capsaicin increases metabolism.  Adding some spice to your dish or consuming foods known for their level of spice, like chili, can raise your metabolic rate by about 8 percent. The same study did find that despite the relatively low boost to your metabolism, capsaicin reduced the appetites, on average, to the tune of consuming 200 fewer calories per meal – the meal currently being consumed as well as meals later in the day. In 2011, the Oxford Journal, Chemical Senses, published a meta-analysis that also concluded that capsaicin does in fact rev up metabolism and suppress appetite, albeit very modestly.  Scientists determined that capsaicin is by no means the cure for weight loss woes, but it does indeed aid weight management efforts.

The spiciest of peppers can fire-up your sex drive as well – just be sure to error on the side of caution when turning up the heat – the pill-form will not be effective in this manner.  Chomping into a spicy pepper causing the brain to send out signals to raise your heart rate, increase perspiration and release endorphins – the same response induced by other “exciting” activities. So, heat things up in the bedroom faster by adding a little spice.

Please remember that peppers and other spicy foods have been known to exacerbate ulcers and symptoms of heartburn.


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