Cayenne pepper grows as a natural herb and has been linked to several health benefits including weight loss. Nutritionists say that it can help to curb your appetite and it also speeds up metabolism, which is a key process in the fat burning sequence. This means adding cayenne pepper in your food could help you burn calories. According to research, the key ingredient of cayenne is capsaicin, which also exists in other peppers. This is a thermogenic chemical that can help to speed up the body’s metabolism and suppress appetite.
Here is how pepper works to help you in losing weight.
1. Fewer cravings
Cravings are part of the reason you are unable to lose weight successfully. Cayenne pepper can help you drown your cravings to lose weight, but how much weight can you lose with cayenne pepper? To know this, you should first review the impact of the pepper as far as the removal of cravings is concerned. According to a 2014 study*, it was observed that people who used red pepper in their meals, experienced a feeling of fullness and did not have cravings. This study suggested that when you add capsaicin to your diet, it helps to suppress appetite. Overall, you will have decreased caloric intake, which means your body will require less effort to get rid of excess weight as not much is added. You can measure the amount of calories you are able to remove from your diet based on the amount of food you will avoid consuming each day.
2. Increased metabolism
Another study conducted in 2003 showed that women who consumed cayenne pepper were able to raise their metabolic rates. This effect kicked in only 30 minutes after using the pepper. One of the most important processes in the burning of fats is metabolism, and speeding this up means you will burn fat much faster. Metabolism helps the body to convert foods into energy and when it is faster, the body will quickly convert nutrients into energy and this means you will not have a lot of it stored in the form of fat.
In a similar study conducted in 2010, researchers discovered that dihydrocapsiate helped to boost metabolic rates. Dihydrocapsiate is a capsinoid you can find in chili peppers that works in a similar manner as capsaicin. Those who consumed the dihydrocapsiate supplement within a period of one month achieved higher rates of metabolism, some of them by more than 50 calories. This showed a significant capability of the pepper supporting weight loss.
3. Burn more calories
Apart from boosting metabolism, cayenne pepper has also shown to support the burning of calories. This is a spicy pepper and when you eat one, it raises the temperature of the body. With higher temperatures the body switches to a cool down mode and this induces the burning of calories. Researchers found that those who took spicy foods achieved better weight loss results after including cayenne pepper into their diet. However, it appears that the body gradually builds tolerance for cayenne pepper with time, so you may note a slight decrease in the pace at which you are able to lose weight. All the same, you cannot overlook the contribution of the pepper towards helping you achieve better weight.
4. Positive effects on gut flora
One of the most important components of your health is the digestive system and when this is not functioning properly you are likely to run into challenges. With a bad digestive system, you are likely to run into problems like obesity since it affects your overall health. This is not entirely about the digestive system, but more about the bacteria or fungi resident along the tract. To have a healthy digestive system, you should maintain healthy bacteria and kick out bat microorganisms that are responsible for causing diseases. Researchers proved that cayenne pepper has a strong antifungal tendency and works against harmful fungi and bacteria. When these are eliminated from the gut, you are able to enjoy stable digestion process, which improves long-term health. Good health is effective for weight loss.
How to include cayenne pepper in your diet
If you are wondering how you can include cayenne pepper in your diet, it can be cooked with food just like other spices. If you don’t want to handle the raw pepper, you can buy its powdered form which is easy to add without touching it. With the powdered pepper, you only need to add it into water, protein shake or smoothie. Take about 28 grams of the pepper for this preparation. If you would not want to experience the taste directly, it’s advisable to include the pepper in dishes that are flavorful. An infusion with one tablespoon of cayenne in a cup of water could also do. Take note that both the infusion and tincture might result in irritation to the eyes, throat, or nose. Just begin with a small dose and observe the way the body reacts.
Who should avoid cayenne pepper?
Although you note that cayenne pepper offers a number of benefits, it should taken carefully as not everyone will achieve the positive results without side effects. If you are on medication that is meant to slow blood clotting, you should avoid cayenne pepper until you are fine. Also avoid it if you anticipate a surgery, and when pregnant or breastfeeding, you should steer clear of the pepper. Patients taking theophylline and those using medication for high blood pressure should as well avoid adding this pepper in their diet. Large doses of cayenne pepper for prolonged periods are also discouraged, and finally, you should never give it to children.
There are many benefits you can draw from using cayenne pepper. One of the most common advantages of the spice is accelerating the weight loss process and ensuring you burn calories faster. The pepper raises body temperature to allow for burning of more calories, and it also lowers appetite to help you handle your challenges with cravings. Before you start consuming cayenne pepper, ensure to consult your doctor to find out if it would work well with you. Don’t give it to small kids and consume moderate amounts as it can lead to heartburn or skin irritation.
*Reference: “Capsaicin increases sensation of fullness in energy balance, and decreases desire to eat after dinner in negative energy balance.” by Janssens PL, Hursel R, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Published in Appetite 2014 Jun;77:44-9. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.02.018. Epub 2014 Mar 12.