Eat spicy, not salty to improve health

Study shows people who eat spicy foods have lower blood pressure

SAN ANTONIO – An easy way to reduce your salt intake and boost your health is to spice things up in the kitchen, a new study suggests.

The study published in the American Heart Association Journal called Hypertension found people who ate spicy foods not only preferred less salty food, but ate about a half teaspoon less of it per day. And, they had lower blood pressure.

A half teaspoon of salt has 1150 milligrams of sodium which is half of the 2300 milligram daily maximum recommended by the American Heart Association.

"The researchers found that the spiciness from the hot peppers seems to activate a certain part of the brain that perceives saltiness, potentially tricking the brain into thinking that the food was saltier than it was," said Consumer Reports Health Editor Julia Calderone. "And, experts think that this might be a good strategy for limiting your salt intake."

Too much sodium can increase the risk of high blood pressure which can lead to heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

So, spicy foods foods may not only add some oomph to your meals, but may give your  health a boost, too.

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