Men's Journal

22 Seriously Spicy Recipes: Can You Handle the Heat?


Here’s a new trick to cool down on a hot summer day: Eat spicy food. It’s science. The sweat you make after eating spicy food is your body processing the chemical capsaicin, the hot compound in chilies, hot peppers, and the spices they’re made from.

“After a series of chemical reactions,” says Rocco DiSpirito, award-winning chef and author of Rocco’s Healthy + Delicious, “spices like cayenne pepper not only cool you down, but can also help rev up your metabolism and boost fat-burning by up to 25 percent.”

At the same time, your body handles heat like a radiator in a car. When you’re hot, your body pushes blood out to your outer, or periphery, areas — which is why you become flushed or your veins appear larger. “Conversely, you become clammy and pale when you’re very cold, as the opposite is happening,” says Dr. David Greuner of NYC Surgical Associates. “Spicy foods cool you down, because your body tries to use the outside or periphery to control your inner body temperature, or core temperature.”

So, if you’re feeling the heat this summer, eating something super hot — like these meals — may be the answer.