Spicy foods come with a lot of love and a lot of hate! Despite the awkward sweating and the frequent trips to the bathroom that they may cause, they also have some really healthy perks too… Take a look at the pros and cons below to see if your next meal is worth the spice or not:

Helps You Fight Colds

Spicy foods can be beneficial when they contain peppers in particular. “Since spicy peppers are full of vitamins like A and C, they can help boost the immune system and even fight the common cold,” says Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Medicine in New York City. That added heat also has antibacterial properties, which can kill off any budding cold germs in your gut.

Speeds Up Your Metabolism

One of our favorite effects of spicy food: It can do wonders for your waistline. Spicy foods are packed with a chemical called capsaicin, which speeds up your metabolism by increasing your heart rate and body temperature. Sign us up.

Makes You Sweat

Turning up the heat on your plate often leaves you literally sweating. Capsaicin-containing spicy foods really do heat your body up, which is why you may find yourself getting a bit dewy as you down a meal at your favorite Indian place.

Worsens Your Heartburn

While spicy foods don’t actually causeheartburn or stomach ulcers, they can make both worse, says Sonpal. “Spicy peppers burn going down but usually won’t harm you,” he says. “If you notice your reflux acting up, then cut back.” If you’re prone to heartburn, temper the irritating effects with a side of yogurt or sour cream to take the edge off the spice.


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