Some Like it Hot: 'Spice' Up Your Weight Loss
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Valentine's Day is a holiday for spicing up things in our lives. Well, we can actually 'spice' up our efforts with weight loss, thanks to a new study that is linking chili peppers with obesity-fighting benefits.
Sometimes it's okay to get a little hot, but not bothered. With Valentine's Day coming up this weekend there is no shortage of information ar "spicing" things up. Well, here's how we can spice up our weight loss efforts.
Chili peppers. Yes, according to a group of researchers at the University of Wyoming, it is believed that capsaicin, the component that gives chili peppers its heat may help those who are fighting obesity by stimulating energy-burning and turning white fat into brown fat.
"In our bodies, white fat cells store energy and brown fat cells serve as thermogenic (heat produced by burning fat) machinery to burn stored fat," says Vivek Krishnan, a graduate student in Dr. Baskaran Thyagarajan's lab at the University of Wyoming's School of Pharmacy. "Eating calorie-rich food and a lack of physical activity cause an imbalance in metabolism that leads to obesity."
In a nutshell (or in this case, a chili pod), more brown fat means more calories burning.
After activation, brown fat can burn nearly 300 calories per 24-hour cycle. Brown fat may also improve insulin sensitivity and help control blood sugar, all which help lower risk of Diabetes and obesity.
So what does this have to do with capsaicin, exactly? Through trials (with mice), researchers found that a low percentage of capsaicin (.01) in the total high-fat diet actually prevented weight gain. Therefore, researchers theorized that capsaicin "induces browning" of white fats and stimulates thermogenesis.
But that's not all chili peppers might be able to help us, health wise, with. Some researchers are linking peppers with fighting cancer. This is because capsaicin is known for binding to a protein on the membrane of some certain cells, and through this binding process the tumor cell responds by killing itself.
So, will you plan to spice up your efforts, this Valentine's Day and beyond?Foods & Recipes->"Herbs, Spices, & Flavor" Holidays / Parties->Valentine's Day