An appetite for spicy food may say certain things about your personality—but more importantly, spicy foods can act as natural appetite suppressants. “The active ingredient in many spicy foods is capsaicin, a compound that acts as a natural appetite suppressant,” adds Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, CNS, DC, founder of DrAxe.com, bestselling author of Eat Dirt, and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition. Not only that, he says, but capsaicin also boosts metabolism so your body burns more calories throughout the day. “Except for bell pepper, all pepper varieties contain a good amount of capsaicin and can be easily added to everything from salsa to soups and sauces,” he says. Cayenne peppers have other health benefits too. As a bonus, “adding a few dashes of the spicy stuff will slow down your eating,” which could lead to your eating less overall, says New York City-based nutritionist Joy L. Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, the founder of Nourish Snacks, the health and nutrition expert on The Today Show, and author of several books including From Junk Food to Joy Food.
Excerpted from Reader’s Digest