Green Chillies Help Cut Belly Fat? 8 Ways It Aids Weight Loss
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Aiming to lose weight and especially cut belly fat can be a tough goal for most, and especially so for foodies. And yet, avoiding obesity and staying within a healthy weight range is very important—and not only for any beauty standards you might think of, but for overall health and fitness. So, if you are embarking on a weight loss journey, here’s a little something that might surprise you: adding green chillies to your diet can help you lose weight. 

Green chillies are a part and parcel of Indian cuisines, whether it be as an addition to curries and snacks to in pickle form. And yet, most people don’t know that adding more green chillies to your diet can actually help with weight loss—not directly of course, since there is no single “magic” ingredient that aids weight loss. Indirectly, however, the benefits of adding green chillies to your weight loss diet are plenty and even science agrees! 

For example, a 2017 study published in the journal Bioscience Reviews suggests that all chilli peppers including green chillies are packed with capsaicin, which can not only boost weight loss but also help treat pain inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis and rhinitis. Another study published in the peer-reviewed journal Molecules in 2022 says that apart from capsaicin, green chillies are also loaded with many antioxidants and phytochemicals like zeaxanthin and beta-carotenes, which also aid indirectly in weight loss. 

Wondering how green chillies can truly help you with long-term weight loss goals and overall fitness? Here are eight simple ways in which green chillies can help. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

Low in Calories 

Technically categorized as vegetables which are always rich in fibre and lower in calories, green chillies really are low in calories. This makes them a great option for adding flavor to dishes without significantly increasing calorie intake. This is particularly helpful when trying to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. 

Capsaicin Content 

Green chillies contain capsaicin, a compound responsible for their spiciness. As the studies above show, capsaicin has been studied for its potential to slightly increase metabolic rate and promote fat oxidation and melting, which means it may help the body burn a few more calories. While the effect is modest, every little bit can contribute to weight loss efforts. 

Appetite Suppression 

Capsaicin in green chillies has also been associated with appetite or hungersuppression. You might argue that this is because green chillies add heat and that suppresses your urge to keep on bingeing--and while that's true, it isn't the only reason. Consuming spicy foods like green chillies may lead to a feeling of fullness and reduce hunger, potentially helping control calorie intake.  

Enhanced Satiety 

The spiciness of green chillies can increase feelings of satisfaction after a meal, which may reduce the desire to overeat or snack between meals. This is especially true for Indian cuisine dishes, where green chillies are used in moderate to abundant amounts, apart from pickles which highlight the use of chillies. 

Flavorful Addition 

A major concern for those on a weight loss diet can be the fact that dishes associated with weight loss can often taste bland, increasing the risk of cravings for more delicious and unhealthy options. Incorporating green chillies into meals can enhance the taste of dishes, making healthy foods more enjoyable and reducing the need for added fats, sugars, or high-calorie sauces for flavor. 

Nutrient Boost 

Green chillies are rich in various vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and iron. Adding them to your diet can provide essential nutrients that support overall health while you are on a weight loss journey. So, whether you do it in curries and snacks or in pickles, adding green chillies can benefit your overall diet and immunity too. 

Improved Metabolism 

Boosting your metabolism is a sure-shot way of increasing the rate at which you lose weight, and green chillies can really help with that. As mentioned above, green chillies contain a compound called dihydrocapsiate, which is similar to capsaicin and has been found to have a thermogenic effect (meaning that it generates heat on consumption). This means that it can slightly increase body heat production and metabolic rate, potentially leading to a small increase in calorie expenditure. 

Blood Sugar Regulation 

Some studies suggest that capsaicin in green chillies may help improve insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial for regulating blood sugar levels. Stable blood sugar levels can reduce cravings for sugary or high-carbohydrate foods, which in turn ca help in weight management by preventing spikes in blood sugar and subsequent crashes that may lead to binge-eating.