Just what is an ulcer though? An ulcer is an open wound or sore in the lining of the stomach or in the upper part of the small intestine. For decades doctors thought these sores resulted from excess stress, spicy foods such as chili peppers, or even alcohol. But in 1982 two doctors discovered a bacterium that can thrive in the stomach and create these sores or ulcers.
Those who have an ulcer usually experience sharp pains in their stomach between the breastbone and the belly button. This can also be accompanied by loss of appetite, nausea, burping, weight loss, and more. Of course this is a condition that should be seen and treated by a physician. Self-diagnosis and treatment is never a good idea with any condition.
Though if you do have an ulcer, the myth that has spread for years that spicy foods will only aggravate your condition and cause you discomfort will make many avoid spicy food and capsaicin in their diet. But recent research is showing that capsaicin can reduce pain and help protect the lining of the stomach for those who are coping with ulcers.
There have been many studies on chilies and how the properties within capsaicin can actually reduce pain in the human body. The heat within the peppers signals the body to release endorphins, which relieves pain and promotes an overall feeling of well being. For those that suffer from ulcers this means that peppers with capsaicin will not induce pain in their stomach but will actually help them avoid the pain from the condition in a natural way.
Spicy food is also shown to help digestion and can actually rebuild the lining of the stomach making it easier for an existing ulcer to actually heal. Capsaicin increases blood flow to the area as well as encourages the stomach to secrete more digestive fluids all which help promote healing and will help prevent future ulcers from forming.
Studies are continually finding more and more health benefits of chili peppers. From helping those with ulcers to help losing weight and even reducing blood pressure the benefits are great while there are no side effects to worry about. So whether you prefer your chili peppers raw, in the form of salsa, or even as part of the seasoning to spice up your menu you can get all the benefits of capsaicin even if you have ulcers.
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