Eat something spicy and you may feel like it is burning. But does that mean it’s also burning calories? Perhaps. According to recent research, capsaicin, a substance that makes chiles such as habanero, jalapeño and piquin spicy, can stimulate your metabolism and help you fight fat.
The word “chile” comes from Nahuatl (xilli), which is what it is known in Mexico and the United States, while the term “ají” probably derives from the word ajo (garlic), from the Taíno spoken in some islands such as Cuba, and thus it is known in the Antilles and South America. The chiles are native to America (continent) and in the colonial era were exported from Mexico to Asia, as the Spanish controlled trade to the old continent and quickly incorporated into their respective cuisines, such as Indian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Chili is a basic culinary ingredient of Mexico and Mexican food is so popular in the United States that it is already part of their customs.
Several studies have shown that capsaicin is associated with weight loss, both in laboratory animals and in humans. But is this compound a magic wand to lose weight? Of course not, although capsaicin can increase fat loss and change the distribution of abdominal fat, weight loss depends on the total calories consumed minus those that are burned. Also, the effects do not seem to last long. According to a study at the University of Oklahoma, capsaicin only accelerated the metabolism for a few hours after it was consumed. The exercise does it for 15 hours.
Conclusion: enjoy some enchiladas alone (if you like Mexican food) or eat spicy foods as part of a low-calorie diet. It can give you benefits. But do not replace the chili for a 20 minute walk