Why hot dishes are good for you

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Do not like spicy food too much? Maybe you should try to get used to it. A multitude of studies indicate that it would be great for the stomach, as well as help protect against various diseases.

The belief that spicy foods exacerbate ulcers and other gastric disorders with a hard life. However, the results of new studies indicate that chili pepper protects the stomach lining and may help prevent gastric lesions associated with the use of anti-inflammatory analgesics . Moreover, iI is rich in calcium and vitamin A and C . Finally, it may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, help prevent diabetes and stimulate metabolism .

However, we must avoid abusing it . According to a study conducted in Mexico, the risk of stomach cancer was slightly higher in subjects who consumed 9 to 25 jalapeños a day than in others. However, even hardcore fans should have no trouble meeting this limit.

Dr. Khursheed Jeejeebhoy, a gastroenterologist and professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Toronto, sees many patients who needlessly deprive themselves of peppers. “Often, people with gastric problems think that to cure, they must avoid hot peppers. But nothing proves that it is a good thing. When spiced up, spices give the dishes a nice flavor and there’s no sign that they can be bad for you . ”

There is, on the contrary, a great deal of scientific evidence that spicy foods are good for you . Results from new studies indicate that hot pepper has many properties . For example, in a laboratory study in the United Kingdom, capsaicin, a substance that gives pepper its tangy flavor, has been found to kill cancer cells in the lung and pancreas without attacking neighboring healthy cells . According to the researchers, this explains why the rates of certain cancers are lower among Mexicans and Indians than among Westerners.

The results of two Australian studies provide further comforting news: the consumption of spicy foods helps protect against the build-up of cholesterol in the blood and lower insulin requirements , which could play a role in the prevention and control of insulin. the treatment of diabetes.

What about his effects on the stomach? According to the results of a study conducted in Hungary, chili would rather have the effect of reducing the production of stomach acid and bleeding associated with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin . Finally, according to the results of a study conducted in Singapore, daily consumption of peppers reduces the risk of peptic ulcers by 53% .

But what to think of this burning sensation that one experiences when consuming pepper? It is caused by capsaicin, which stimulates nerve endings. “It’s an unpleasant sensation,” agrees Jeejeebhoy, “but there is no evidence that it would cause abrasion , ulceration, or any other lesions in the gastrointestinal tract,” adding that the best cure for this burning sensation consists in becoming tolerant to it .

Dr. Susan Biali, a general practitioner from Vancouver and a dietetic graduate, has only good words for pepper. ” It gives a lot of flavor and bite to food, while being low in calories, ” says the woman who until recently shared her time between Vancouver and Los Cabos (Mexico). Over the years, her dishes became more and more pungent and she laughingly tells that she tolerates peppers better than her Mexican husband, who has nevertheless consumed its entire existence. “It’s a good way to add flavor to an otherwise bland dish,” she says.

She sees chili as a food with everything to offer: it stimulates metabolism, helps to burn fat and prolongs the feeling of satiety .

Dr. Monika Mathur

Ph.D Yale University

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