Why You Should Get Fired Up for Hot Sauce

Q: Why is hot sauce such a beloved condiment these days?

A: There’s more to it than the delicious flavor. While many of us are adopting healthier lifestyles and diets, we are foregoing the ketchup and mayonnaise in lieu of a cleaner condiment. In many eastern cultures, hot peppers are used in the most common dishes and recipes and are thought to be beneficial in maintaining a healthy body. People around the globe are falling in love with the kick-in-the-pants rush and the wonderful health benefits associated with eating spicy foods.

Why Spicy Foods are Healthy

Make your own hot sauce with a mouthwatering recipe from Maura “Mo” Knowles.

 

Q: So, what are the benefits of eating spicy foods?

A: Most hot sauces combine a pepper (or combination of peppers), various other veggies and a bit of salt, which is a taste-winning combination. Even better than that: you won’t find the fat, sugar or calories found in other condiments. In fact, hot sauce usually doesn’t contain any fat or sugar and has about 5 calories per serving!

The real magic behind hot sauce has to do with the active compound in peppers, capsaicin. Capsaicin is responsible for a host of health benefits and is even extracted from hot peppers for use in various supplements and topical pain relief creams. When it comes to peppers, the spicier they are, the more capsaicin they contain.

Capsaicin is known to help promote a healthy metabolism and is often used by many dieters for this reason. It also helps to clear out that pesky stuffy nose. After eating some spicy food, you will breathe easy. Perhaps one of the most fascinating effects of hot sauce is the euphoric feeling a spicy meal can produce. You may have caught yourself eating a spicy meal and thinking, “My mouth is on fire, but I can’t stop!” This is because the burning sensation from capsaicin causes our body to release feel-good endorphins.*

Q: What’s the best hot sauce?

A: There is no “best” hot sauce, since they vary in flavor, heat and consistency. Many heat-lovers will find themselves starting with something mild and spicing it up over time. If you’re just getting used to spicy foods, start with Cholula, a mild but robust garlic hot sauce. For a bit more heat, try Tabasco sauce. If you can handle the heat but don’t already have some of this in your pantry, pick up some deliciously spicy Huy Fong Foods Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. For those of you who are gluttons for punishment but still appreciate good flavor, we recommend giving Dave’s Gourmet Insanity Hot Sauce a spin. Use this drop by drop, or dilute it (don’t say we didn’t warn you!). These are our favorites, but feel free to check out our entire selection of hot sauces and hot peppers to find something your taste buds can tolerate and actually enjoy!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

About Vitacost Product Experts

Health & wellness Q & A from Vitacost.com' product experts Matt Albretsen and Ryan Halvorsen. Submit your question at productinfo@vitacost.com

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