Spicy foods, such as those foods you may have tried in Indian, Mexican or Korean restaurants, infused with curry and different peppers, have been shown to fight heart disease — the number one cause of death in the western world. Capsaicin, the compound that is responsible for the hot taste of spicy foods has been determined to be key in bolstering the protective qualities of the heart. Interestingly, this ingredient of spicy foods, affects both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol as well as the health of blood vessels.
Some studies such as a new study in Hong Kong indicated that spicy compounds reduce the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol through a process of increasing the breakdown and excretion of cholesterol. Also, the capsaicin compounds relax the heart wall’s muscles and increase the heart’s blood flow .