Healthy Heat: Capsaicin Benefits

Is capsaicin the hottest thing in weight loss and skin care? I don’t mean that in terms of its popularity (although it does have that going for it) but more in the literal sense. This component of chili peppers is responsible for providing the burning sesnation and spicy taste. It also has a surprising number of advantageous health effects, many of which we are still uncovering. There are a few primary functions and applications of this ingredient. We will go the capsaicin benefits below, with a look at who it can help and how you can use it. The first thing to know is this: even if you don’t like spicy food, you can still get plenty of value from this intriguing property.

You can naturally find capsaicin in a variety of chili peppers, such as the cayenne pepper. You can also find its extract in a few different forms, including supplement capsules and topical skin cream. In its pure form it is a pungent, clear and waxy compound. Since it is primarily responsible for producing the hot and spicy sensation in pepper, it is frequently present in hot sauces and spices. One of the capsaicin benefits is a pleasurable or even euphoric feeling from ingesting it. This owes to the release of endorphins. However, if you’re not one to get a kick out of that fiery sensation, you can still achieve some other perks. Here are the main ones across two categories.

Capsaicin Benefits for Skin

Capsaicin as a skin cream? It doesn’t sound too pleasant, I realize. One would think that applying this property — the same one used as an active ingredient in pepper spray — would be counterproductive. Won’t it just make an ache or sore spot hurt even worse? Well, there’s an interesting mechanism at play with the ingredient. When used topically, capsaicin often causes a slight increase in pain initially, but follows with a dulling effect. When you apply it, capsaicin stimulates the release of biological compounds that play a critical role in pain receptors and transmissions. Many people experience a burning or itching sensation the first couple of times they use a capsaicin skin cream, but find that it goes away after a few applications.

A couple of things to note. First of all, don’t get capsaicin creams into open wounds, or mucous membranes like the eyes or nose. This will sting and won’t offer any kind of relieving effect. Along those same lines, make sure you thoroughly wash your hands after using the cream. If you have ever handled a jalapeno and then rubbed your eyes, you know why this suggestion is there. The capsaicin benefits for pain relief and treating skin conditions like psoriasis are nice. Just make sure you’re careful.

Capsaicin Benefits for Weight Loss

There’s a truism that spicy food makes you feel more full. And it’s no myth. Eating chili peppers or taking capsaicin supplements tends to assist with appetite control. If you’re getting the ingredient from your diet, those peppers also have some nice nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins. Another of the capsaicin benefits for slimming is its impact on metabolism. The spicy sensation excites and stimulates the system, kicking your metabolic function into a higher gear. Finally, there is a belief — supported by a few studies — that capsaicin can help burn body fat. The ingredient triggers proteins that help break down fat stores. This ties to the metabolic effect, enabling you to convert fats to energy more quickly.

Jim Stiller

Jim Stiller

Staff Writer at New Review HQ
Jim Stiller

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