Eating red chilli peppers can help you lose weight
Written By: Abbie Smith
They believe that capsaicin – which gives red chilli peppers their heat – reduces hunger pangs for fatty, sweet and salty foods and also makes calories burn faster.
The team measured the effects of the spice in half a teaspoon of dried, ground cayenne red pepper, an amount which most people could handle.
Overall the researchers found that the red pepper burned more calories due to an increase in energy expenditure.
They also said that those who do not regularly eat spicy chillis experienced a decrease in hunger pangs too.
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The study was spread over six weeks, and involved 25 participants. Thirteen of them of them liked spicy foods, while 12 people said they did not like spicy foods and therefore did not consume them regularly.
Professor Richard Mattes, from the Purdue University in Indiana, said: “We found that consuming red pepper can help manage appetite and burn more calories after a meal, especially for individuals who do not consume the spice regularly.”
“Dietary changes that don't require great effort to implement, like sprinkling red pepper on your meal, may be sustainable and beneficial in the long run, especially when paired with exercise and healthy eating,” he added.
The authors of the study also said: “The appetite responses were different between those who liked red pepper and those who did not, suggesting that when the stimulus is unfamiliar it has a greater effect. Once it becomes familiar to people, it loses its efficacy.”
Although previous studies have explored the weight loss benefits of consuming capsaicin through a capsule, the new findings have shown that actually experiencing the taste of the pepper could maximise its potential to aid someone trying to lose weight.
“That burn in your mouth is responsible for that effect,” Richard Mattes said.
“It turns out you get a more robust effect if you include the sensory part because the burn contributes to a rise in body temperature, energy expenditure and appetite control.”