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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Foods That Fight Fat #3: Chili Peppers

Can you stand the heat?  

Our third fat fighting food is chili peppers! Not only can they add an abundance of flavor to your favorite foods,  they can also rev up your body's fat burning abilities.

You know that burn you experience when you bite into a chili pepper? Well it's more than a mere sensation! Capsaicin is the ingredient responsible for this heated kick! This potent ingredient triggers the pain receptors in your mouth to become activated. Therefore, after you consume a spicy dish, your pain receptors send a message to your brain that relief is needed and pronto! Your brain responds to this cry for help by speeding up your metabolism and heart rate, in order for your body to sweat and cool off (which explains why you sweat sometimes after ingesting spicy food).  As a result, your body experiences an increased calorie burn and engages in a fight against fat. Basically, your body has a similar experience as it does during a workout. However, this doesn’t mean that you can forgo the gym! (Unfortunately, not that many calories are burned.) 

Try adding hot peppers into your salsa, diced up on a salad, use to spice up your chili, or add them to your favorite quinoa, rice or bean dish. Here is a delicious recipe to help incorporate chilies into your morning routine! 

Scrambled Eggs with Chilies

2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white
Pinch of kosher salt and fresh pepper
Cooking spray
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Vigorously whisk the eggs, egg white and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat.  When hot, coat lightly with cooking spray. Cook chopped chilies and tomatoes until soft (2 minutes).  Add eggs.  Cook, stirring gently, until eggs are cooked through, as desired (1-2 minutes). Sprinkle with scallion.  Serve hot.

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