Chilies Could Help Beat Cancer as Research Finds Capsaicin Destroys Diseased Cells

The active ingredient that gives chilies their kick can also kill off cancer cells, according to a new report in Mirror. Capsaicin is the ingredient, and it not only can fight breast cancer, but colon, bone and pancreatic cancer as well.

While the studies are ongoing, this is exciting news in the natural fight against cancer, and in means of preventing it. It’s been long-recognized that nutrition figures heavily in cancer, which occurs as a result of previous mitochondrial damage, which then triggers nuclear genetic mutations that may lead to cancer. In particular, sugar (glucose) literally “feeds” these damaged cells.

Normal, healthy cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. Cancer cells lack this ability, so when you reduce net carbs (total carbs minus fiber), you effectively starve the cancer. It’s also known that processed food is a major cancer promoter, and is full of hidden sugar.

Decreasing sugar consumption is at the top of the list if you’re overweight, insulin resistant or struggle with any chronic disease, especially cancer. Research has shown that as much as 40 percent of American health care expenditures are for diseases directly related to the overconsumption of sugar.

It’s not too late to break your sugar addiction, beginning with addressing your emotions. As a start, I highly recommend the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a simple and effective psychological acupressure technique that could help you manage the emotional components of your cravings.

Fourteen metabolism boosting behaviors that will help you keep your weight loss resolution

Forty-five percent of American’s make New Years Resolutions, twenty-one percent of these resolutions are with the desire to lose weight!  Unfortunately, one in three have given up on their resolution by the end of January.


Forty-five percent of American’s make New Years Resolutions, 21 percent of these resolutions involve weight loss!

If you desire to lose weight and keep your goal, try focusing on smaller behaviors, rather than the overall goal.  Research tells us that we are more productive if we are focusing on behaviors, rather than the overall goal.  Consider some of the following manageable goals that have proven to increase metabolism and improve weight loss. (2)

Fourteen behaviors proven to increase weight loss!

  1. Drink Water Before Eating:  A study presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual conference reported that drinking two glasses of water before every meal can help a person lose approximately 15.5 pounds over three months. (3)
  2. Fidget:  There is good news if you are a fidgeter, research has shown that non-exercise activity thermogenesis can help burn an additional 350 calories per day.  This activity includes fidgeting or other small bursts of activity, such as running up the stairs, pacing while on the phone or shifting around in your seat. (3)
  3. Whey Protein Smoothie’s:  Adding whey protein powder has beens town to increase calorie burn and fat utilizations. If you are vegan, no worries, science as shown that even plant based protein can rev up your metabolism.  Protein provides a thermogenic effect, causing your body to produce more heat and burn more calories. (3)
  4. Coffee:  Caffeine has the ability to speed up the central nervous system and increase metabolism.  Drinking coffee that has not been laden with cream and sugar can help improve energy levels and fitness.  One study reported that caffeine after exercise increased muscle glycogen by 66 percent, allowing endurance athletes to quickly replenish energy stores used in exercise.(3)
  5. Green Tea:  Green tea not only boosts metabolism but is a rich source of antioxidants.  One study found that green tea combined with three hours of moderate exercise per week reduced abdominal fat in three months. (3)
  6. Probiotics:  Probiotics found in yogurt, pickles and other fermented foods have been shown to help with weight loss.  One study found that 12 weeks of probiotic intake increased weight loss in women when compared to placebo group and the women continue to lose weight during the 12 week maintenance period. (3)
  7. Laugh:  Watching funny videos or reading funny stories will help you feel better and burn more calories.  One study showed a 10-20 percent increase in energy expended and heart rate during genuine laughter.  This energy expenditure translates into 10-40 calories burned within 10-15 minutes of laughter. (3)
  8. Spice Up Your Food:  Invest in a Sriracha key chain and add some spice to your meals.  Capsaicin from chili peppers has a thermogenic effect.  One study found that capsicum activates brown fat and increases calorie burn. (3)
  9. Eat Small Meals:  If you are hungry in the afternoon, instead of waiting to dinnertime, eat a small afternoon meal.  This will help keep your metabolism high and prevent you from eating junk food.  Consider foods like Greek Yogurt and fruit, peanut butter and apples, or cottage cheese. (3)
  10. Organic Produce:  Pesticides on conventional produce have been found to slow metabolism and increase weight gain.  Buying organic can reduce pesticide exposure and help keep off unwanted weight. (3)
  11. One Bite At A Time:  Wolfing down food means that we often eat too much.  One study found that reducing stress and practicing mindfulness can prevent weight gain.  It takes about 20 minutes before hormone CCK tells the brain to stop eating.  If you are eating quickly, you don’t give your CCK the necessary time it needs to pass the message.  Eating quickly will also raise fat-storing insulin levels, so slow down and enjoy every bite! (3)
  12. Turn Off Your Phone:  A Northwestern University study found that blue light emitted from phones, computers and tablets before or after dinner has been found to increase hunger and affect glucose metabolism. (3)
  13. Seafood Salad:  Having a salad for lunch or dinner helps increase fiber and nutrients.  Adding salmon to that salad can help fire up your metabolism.  Salmon contains protein and omega-3 fatty acids.  One study found that supplementing diets with fish oil for six weeks increased lean muscle and decreased fat. (3)
  14. Stand Up When Answering the Phone:  A 150 pound person burns 72 calories an hour sitting and 129 calories standing.  If you walk around while talking on the phone, this increases calorie burned to 143 calories in one hour.  Next time your phone rings, stand up while you talk or even walk around. (3)

If you desire to lose weight this year, try focusing on incorporating as many of these metabolism boosting behaviors into your routine and see if you can find success in your overall weight loss goals!

What spicy food says about you?

Spiciness is actually not a taste or flavor — it’s your body sensing the presence of certain chemicals, also called chemesthesis. The chemicals in peppers and other spicy foods can be a deterrent to some animals and serve as a protective mechanism for a plant, but some humans have developed an affinity for this feeling and seek it out in their cuisine. As one study puts it, some people exhibit a preference for oral burn.


Interestingly, studies now show this love for heat is also linked to certain personality traits. If you love the heat of spicy food, you may be a thrill-seeker. People who like spicy foods are attracted to the burning sensation of a compound called capsaicin, which causes a mild feeling of pain when eaten. Chili peppers are commonly associated with spiciness, which is rated on the Scoville scale and measures capsaicin content.

A 2013 study in the Food Quality and Preference Journal describes the many factors that affect a love of spicy foods, ranging from social or cultural influences, how many times you’ve been exposed to capsaicin, physical differences in the sensation of spiciness and a person’s personality traits.

This study also shows that those who seek more frequent chili intake exhibit qualities of “sensation seeking,” or the need for new and complex sensations and “sensitivity to reward behaviors,” which support the researcher’s hypothesis that personality plays a role in whether a person likes spice or not.

There’s good reason to include spices for health as well as for the adventure of eating hot foods. A 2014 study found that healthy compounds in spices, namely flavonoids, work as antioxidants and are associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease.

Capsaicin in particular has been studied extensively in relation to reducing cancer risk, even at relatively low to medium intake levels. Many studies show the most benefit from spices at higher intake levels, so finding ways to include a variety of spices in your diet on a regular basis may offer benefits outside of the kitchen.

If you’re averse to spice but want to enjoy a mild level of capsaicin-containing foods, try sweeter peppers like the Anaheim, ancho, sweet bell or poblano. Increase the heat in your foods by trying Cholula hot sauce, horseradish or wasabi and serrano or jalapeno peppers.

If these medium peppers and sauces are too spicy, start with a very small quantity and work your way up, as studies show that repeat exposure is also associated with enjoying spiciness.

Remember, you can always add spice, but you can’t take it away. The hottest peppers, such as the Carolina Reaper, cayenne pepper, ghost pepper, habanero or Thai chili pepper, should be used only for those who love spice and are accustomed to it; capsaicin content here is much higher than mild or medium peppers. Sensation-seeking folks will likely go for these capsaicin-packed, mouth-burning peppers. Whichever level of spice you enjoy adding to your food, there is a pepper for everyone — so we can all partake in this healthful trend.