Chili peppers are nutritious, filling and have a low glycemic load. [1] They also contain an ingredient that is useful for combatting obesity: capsaicin.

Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers that makes them spicy, “is known to increase energy expenditure and decrease body fat.” [2] Although it is not yet understood exactly why capsaicin does this, the study above linked capsaicin ingestion with an increase in active brown adipose tissue – which takes calories from normal fat and burns them. Another study, which was just published in the Journal of Nutrition, linked capsaicin to feeling full even when restricting caloric intake by 20%. [3]

In other words, chilies naturally induce our bodies to expend energy and burn fat, while simultaneously curbing our appetites!

Besides their beneficial health qualities, dried chili peppers are one of my favorite spices because their taste varies greatly depending on what you are seasoning. Even if you don’t like spicy foods there are some sweet chilies that still contain a fair bit of capsaicin. There is an increasing amount of chili varieties available, both dried and fresh, which further diversifies their applicability to all types of cuisine. Also a little known fact: fresh chilies taste much different raw than when they are cooked, which also makes them a versatile addition to any type of dish, whether it’s meat, grains, dairy or veggies!

Here’s an article about how to pick the perfect chili pepper:

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