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Spice It Up!

Many may hear spicy and automatically rule it out, but truth is you are missing out on some great health benefits when you take this approach (or lack of, for that matter).

The beauty to spicy foods is that you can alter the intensity to whatever works best for you! Many may hear spicy and automatically rule it out, but truth is you are missing out on some great health benefits when you take this approach (or lack of, for that matter).

There are a multitude of options when it comes to spices and spicy foods. As you get a little more cultured with your food and move away from the typical Tabasco, and Mexican Cholula, you will discover the Asian foods have many delicious spicy options as well. Although we are most familiar with condiments like Sriracha (as it started being incorporated into most dishes in recent years), sambals are gaining popularity as well. Sambal is a term used to describe a hot sauce derived of chili peppers and other flavors. Whereas Sriracha is of Thai descent, sambals are mainly from Indonesia and Malaysia. Sambals are mainly made of muddled chili peppers. Let’s take a look as to why these condiments and sauces are so beneficial to our health:

Weight Loss

We all love how exciting it is to lose weight with no effort. Even better, losing weight while adding flavor to our favorite dishes at the same time. When you consume chili peppers, the spiciness releases adrenalin into the bloodstream causing the breakdown of fat. When you see people sweating or your body temperature heating up, it takes the breakdown of calories to produce that energy, in turn burning calories.

Other Benefits Include

  • Clear Congestion
  • Cardiovascular Benefits
  • Boost Immunity
  • Natural Pain Relief
  • Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Help Stop the Spread of Prostate Cancer
  • Fight Inflammation
  • Prevent Stomach Cancer

*Keep in mind that many sambal recipes include sugar so check out this recipe for a healthy sambal recipe to add to your shrimp or chicken and spice it up!

Paleo Sambal Recipe

Yields: ½ Cup

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Dried Red Chiles
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Aminos
  • ¼ Cup Lime Juice
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt

Directions

Begin by removing the stems from the red chilies, and chop them up very finely. Then heat up the lime juice and vinegar and mix well. Place the chopped chilies into the heated limejuice and vinegar and let them steep until the juices start mixing and combine in color. Lastly, add in the coconut aminos, salt, and added cayenne pepper is always an option. Enjoy!

 

 

Resources:

“Chili Pepper, Dried.” The World's Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation. Web.

“Chili Sauces Explained: Sriracha, Sambal Oelek, and Chili Garlic Sauce.” Eat It Atlanta Atlanta Restaurant Cooking Food Blog RSS. 2008. Web.

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Written by Kylie Daniels

Kylie Daniels

My name is Kylie Daniels and I have a strong passion for health and nutrition. I was raised in Southern California, and am now attending Boise State University in Idaho to complete my B.B.A. degree in General Business and Marketing. My interest began a few years back when I was a part of the opening of a brand new juice bar. Here I learned the importance of eating healthy, balanced exercise, and the power of a nutritional lifestyle. This education has inspired me to research the latest diets, cleanses, and products to help guide you to be your best self!

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