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Fight Fat With the Red Hot Chili Peppers (and Green, Yellow, and Orange, Too)

New research is emerging demonstrating the benefits of chili peppers in active weight loss. Hot chili peppers that come in red, orange, yellow, or green contain phytonutrient compounds known as capsaicinoids. Among these, capsaicin is the most abundant and may cause loss of stored fat cells.

Capsaicin is what gives hot chili peppers their heat and spice. It may also cause protein changes in the body that work to break down fat. Consuming this superfood on a regular basis can result in loss of stored body fat as well as less new fat being stored.

The body works to fill new fat cells as they become available. The immature fat cells eventually grow into mature ones that are deposited and stored. Chili peppers may help to stop this process by encouraging the body to send a biochemical signal to the immature cell. This signal tells the fat cells to begin apoptosis, or self-destruct.

Chili peppers may also help to suppress appetite, which will lead to a direct decrease in calorie intake. The capsaicin helps to keep blood sugar levels from spiking for about 30 minutes after consuming the pepper. This reduces the chances of an insulin response during digestion, and can lower fat levels in the blood.

The heat-giving capsaicin temporarily raises the body’s metabolic rate. This raises adrenaline production and increases the ability to burn stored fat and sugar. In addition, thermogenesis is stimulated and the body’s temperature, as well as energy output, is raised. Stored fat cells are used to support this increase in energy.

It is easy to incorporate hot chili peppers in an everyday diet. One simple way is to top a variety of foods with salsa that specifically lists chili peppers as an ingredient. Salsa tastes great in salads, on top of fish and poultry, or mixed in things like cottage cheese and soups. Peppers can also be chopped and added to salads, soups, eggs, or pizza. Hot sauce is also a good source of the beneficial capsaicin.

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