By Will Llamas and the TLS Team
Adding some heat to your food might be a way to spice up a meal, but it could also protect your heart.
According to recent studies of scientists from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, foods rich in the spicy compound capsaicinoid, proved to lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels in hamsters. In a study conducted by the university, hamsters that were fed a spicier diet had improved cholesterol and an increased blood flow to their heart, than ones fed capsaicinoid-free meals.
Of course, more related studies need to be conducted in the future, but these results are promising for spicy food lovers.
So what can you do? Adding a little spice to your meals definitely can’t hurt in moderation. While a little spice might help protect your heart from disease, too much has been proven harmful. Too much spice can cause stomach irritation and ulcers. As well “Spicy foods can make ulcers and reflux disease worse,” says Alexandra Caspero, R.D., owner of weight-management and sports-nutrition service Delicious-Knowledge.com. So to be safe, if you have any of those diseases, be careful consuming spicy foods.
Next time you’re looking to add some fiery flavor to your diet, know that you may be helping your heart health in the process.