Thai'd Up!
Authentic Thai Cuisine
Health Benefits:

From the, well … in my own experiences, from the last few years of researching, preparing and consuming Thai food as the majority of my diet, I have yet to become sick. Eat more Thai food and feel better.

Hot = Health
Spicy cooking can have some unexpected health benefits. No longer is "hot spicy food" blamed for ulcers and other gastric ills. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Many of these health benefits are being investigated by the medical and pharmaceutical communities—one of the hottest research areas in the beginning of the millennium, in fact. Meanwhile, the people of countries where spicy cooking is the norm have understood the preventive and curative benefits of these substances for hundreds of years. Capsaicin is the source of the heat in hot peppers. It's a colorless compound derived from plants of the genus Capsicum, which includes many forms of peppers. It also contributes to the heat in cayenne, chili pepper, and red pepper sauces.

The Health Benefits of Capsaicin
Capsaicin and substances that contain it are among the most studied of substances in medical, pharmaceutical, and nutrition research. Although many of the claims have not yet been substantiated by scientific research, some of these uses have been around for hundreds of years, and they seem to work for many, many people:

Capsaicin:
• improves digestion by stimulating stomach secretions
• lowers triglycerides
• triggers the release of endorphins
• unclogs stuffy noses
• may reduce high blood pressure
• may protect against some forms of cancer.

And if that's not enough, capsaicin also appears to increase your metabolic rate so you can burn more calories. This is an important finding for dieters. If you sprinkle cayenne pepper flakes on your low-fat pizza or soup, toss some sliced jalapeno peppers into your salad, or chop some habanero peppers into your turkey chili, you may be able to lose weight faster! You'll also benefit from the other perks: lower triglycerides and great digestion.

Turmeric
On the other side of the world, we have capsaicin's distant cousin, turmeric. Turmeric—a main ingredient of curry powder—contains curcumin, which gives the curry powder its bright saffron yellow color.

The Health Benefits of Turmeric:
Like capsaicin, turmeric is the subject of many studies on the health benefits of hot food, particularly because medical practitioners and researchers have observed unusually low rates of certain cancers among Asian people. Again, no conclusive scientific findings were assumed in preparing this list.

Tumeric:
• increases your energy level
• relieves gas
• may relieve arthritis
• improves digestion
• may inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells (including colon cancer)
• lowers cholesterol

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