Beyond Gorgeous

Hang onto your taste buds!  Today’s tip for speeding up the metabolism is a scorcher.  Numerous sites hail cayenne pepper as the hottest metabolism booster around. (Okay, sorry for the pun.)

Seriously, though, cayenne has been used in traditional medicine for centuries for a number of ills, including obesity.  It’s main ingredient is capsaicin. This naturally occurring chemical is said to be thermogenic. That is, it speeds up your metabolism by heating up your internal temperature.

Of course, other sites say that the effect of cayenne is minimal.   However, one Web site  refers to a study done by the Laval University in Quebec.  Scientists there found that study participants who ate cayenne pepper with their breakfast had less appetite and ate fewer calories during the day.  (Hmm.  Wonder if they weren’t as hungry, or if they just had scorched tongues and didn’t feel like eating?)

Further studies into the medicinal qualities of cayenne shows an impressive list of things it is supposed to help — ranging from improved blood pressure to increased sex drive.  It is also said to aid digestion, increase blood circulation, decrease inflammation, and when applied externally, relieve joint pain.

However, from what I can tell, it relieves joint pain by overloading the pain sensors. It feels so painful on top of the joint that your brain can’t take in the pain signals from inside the joint.  That sounds to me a little like hitting your thumb with a hammer to make you forget about your headache.

Speaking of headaches, cayenne is also said to prevent migraines.

Do I believe all this?  It’s possible, but not sure I want to try all these remedies.  I have opted out of the cayenne cleanse I read about. It calls for cayenne pepper, maple syrup and lemon juice.  That’s all you eat, and it is guaranteed to cleanse your insides and make you not hungry so you lose weight.   Ummm — think I might pass on this one.

If you do decide to take cayenne you can add LOTS of it to your food.  Apparently it requires quite a bit to be effective. If you are sufficiently tough and/or motivated, you can also buy the powder, mix it in a liquid and drink it.  An easier option is to buy the capsules and swallow them.

As with all the remedies, this one will not hurt you unless you have a sensitivity to the pepper.  Be aware, though, that if you have significant weight to lose, adding a few sprinkles of cayenne on your food won’t make you drop pounds overnight.  If you are doing everything else right, though, with a low glycemic diet and stepping up the exercise, it won’t hurt to have another little nudge in the right direction.

Eating to live and living for Christ,

Susan Jordan Brown

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