Owing to their heating properties, spices expel cold from the body, keeping the lungs healthy. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)
Have you been incessantly craving spicy food of late? Unable to contain your excitement at the sight and smell of spices? Well, science says that it is your body's way of pushing you towards keeping yourself warm. Curious about the correlation? Read on.
When the temperatures dip, the body tries to keep itself warm. According to traditional Chinese medicine, every organ in the body responds to a specific flavour. The lungs, for instance, respond to spices, as they correspond with the lung energy. It is said that owing to their heating properties, spices expel cold from the body.
In winters, we are prone to common cold, flu and other infections of the lung, because of the presence of pathogens in the air. The lungs have to stay healthy, so as to keep the pathogens from wreaking havoc in the body. When the lung functions are impaired, sinus problems, headaches, coughs, chills, body aches, etc., can take hold.
When we eat spicy food, it helps expel the wind and pathogens from the body, promoting the flow of energy and the circulation of blood throughout the body. You must have noticed that your nose starts to run when you consume spice. This is good because it helps dispel the mucus. Also, if you are residing in a wet and cold climate, the spice can make you feel warmer by making you sweat. Additionally, spices also help with weight loss, by increasing digestive fire and metabolism.
Not for everyone
Remember that spices do not suit everyone. While some could be intolerant to spices, others could be suffering from stomach ulcers which could get aggravated. But, you do not have to go for flaming hot wings; foods like ginger, garlic, bell peppers, can have the same warming effect. Add these to your diet. Also, be extra cautious if you are prone to skin breakouts. Ask your doctor first.
Among other things, spicy foods keep the heart healthy by lowering the bad cholesterol. They are also known to improve the mood by increasing the production of the serotonin hormone, which helps reduce stress, anxiety and anger.