Turn up the heat! Eating spicy food lowers blood pressure because it ‘tricks’ the brain into craving less salt, study finds

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Eating spicy food may curb unhealthy cravings for salt, leading to lower blood pressure, suggests a new study.

Researchers found that people who enjoyed this type of cuisine appeared to eat less salt because it ‘tricks’ their brains into wanting less.

As a result, they were found to have lower blood pressure, potentially reducing their risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Approximately 75 million adults in the US have raised readings – also known as hypertension – which affects 16 million people in the UK. 

Senior study author Professor Zhiming Zhu, of the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China, said: ‘Previously, a pilot study found that trace amounts of capsaicin, the chemical that gives chili peppers their pungent smell, enhanced the perception of food being salty.’

‘We wanted to test whether this effect would also reduce salt consumption.’

6150acb78481f74d9d7170597cf3b17d Turn up the heat! Eating spicy food lowers blood pressure because it 'tricks' the brain into craving less salt, study finds

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