Spice it up! Will Adding Cayenne Pepper to Your Diet Help With Weight Loss?


ThinkstockPhotos-185904787Heralded as a way to increase metabolism and maybe even help you lose weight, it seems like cayenne pepper is being added to everything , from juice drinks to over- the -counter supplements, but does it really work?

The red cayenne pepper is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeños, and paprika. Recent studies suggest that red cayenne pepper, when combined with other weight loss efforts, may help burn calories and curb appetite, especially in people who aren’t used to eating it.

The study found that about half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper either mixed in food or swallowed in a capsule helped normal-weight young adults burn about 10 more calories over a four-hour period, compared to eating the same meal but without the red pepper.

Pepper was also found to decrease appetite, especially in people who said they didn’t already eat spicy foods. However, it seems that once a person gets used to the spicy foods, the effects start to wear off.

Incorporating red pepper into your diet works more toward moderation of energy intake and energy balance, but the real bottom line? If you like spicy food, try it, but it’s not going to make you a size 2.

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