I was born and raised in Buffalo, NY - The chicken wing capital of the world. And yes, They are called chicken wings in Buffalo (not buffalo wings).
So you would probably just assume that I love hot wings and spicy food right? Wrong! In fact, it was quite the opposite. Growing up, I would sometimes dare to eat the medium wings and even then I would load it up with blue cheese just to turn down the heat a little bit.
It wasn't until I got dared by Branch Warren to eat his Wicked Cutz-Carolina Killa beef jerky that I started to change my mind about spicy food.
I was two(small) pieces in when I broke out sweating and was begging for some water-glad I had my 36oz Beast Ice Shaker on hand! But, for some reason after the burning sensation went away, I wanted to eat some more...Was I just a glutton for punishment or, was there more to the effects of extreme spiciness taking place?
I got home that day and started to read a little bit more about spicy and food to try and figure out if it was healthy or harmful for your body. I figured that if I was sweating from eating it, it had to be increasing my body temperature and possibly helping to burn body fat and increase my metabolism, right?
So I immediately started to think about my diet. If I could add something to my diet that was super high in protein, with little or no carbs or fat and could help burn fat then I needed to implement it asap! So It was time to do some research and this is what I found:
The Benefits of spicy food:
1. Weight Loss: I was on to something here! Spicy food may jack up your metabolism. Studies show that the main compound in chilies, called capsaicin, has a thermogenic effect and may cause the body to burn calories for 20 minutes post chow-down. I would say that I was sweating for a good 20 minutes after eating the carolina killa jerky.
2. Heart Health: Studies suggest that people that eat the most spicy food have much lower incidence of heart attack and stroke. Potential reasons: Chili peppers can reduce the damaging effects of LDL (bad cholesterol) and capsaicin may fight inflammation, which has been flagged as a risk factor for heart issues.
Vitamins A and C strengthen the heart muscle walls, and the heat of the pepper increases blood flow throughout your body. All of this equals a stronger cardiovascular system and could lower blood pressure as well.
3. Cancer Prevention: According to the American Association for Cancer Research, capsaicin has the ability to kill some cancer and leukemic cells.
4. Mood Booster: Spicy foods boost production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin. So they may help ease depression and stress. When your body detects the spice(capsaicin) it raises it's defense mechanisms to offset the burn-in this case, seratonin. That is why, from a psychological standpoint, even though your mouth is on fire, your mind is telling you it wants more.
Not a fan of crazy-spicy food? The carolina killa may not be for you, but, I have found that the volcanic jalapeno is the perfect amount of heat for me. I still get a good sweat going and still enjoy the experience.
AND for everyone that read this whole article and is thinking "What the heck is carolina killa?" - I talked to CEO of Wicked Cutz and convinced him to send me over his best coupon code from our readers so that you can try it out as well. Will you dare try out the carolina killa? Or will you join me and stick with the volcanic jalapeno? Either way, you're going to get a healthy serving of protein with a little(or big) boost in your metabolism.
Get 20% off of your order from Wicked Cutz Jerky by using code GRONK20
PLEASE NOTE* Be smart about consuming extremely spicy foods. If you have a condition that is affected by spicy foods, we recommend that you DO NOT TRY the spicy jerky referenced in the above post. Instead, opt for one of Wicked Cutz more sweet and mild options.