Science has once again proved that nothing is lost in nature. A new study shows that spicy foods activate the same centers in the brain as salty foods. Thus, if we need to reduce salt intake, we can easily fool the brain and, by eating spicy foods, reduce our appetite for salty dishes.
This finding allows people with high blood pressure to very easily replace their contraindicated salty foods with spicy ones, without leaving unsatisfied with their taste perceptions.
According to the standards of the World Health Organization, modern man consumes about 30% more salt than the amount determined to be safe for the heart and blood vessels. Excessive sodium intake with salt is a key provoking factor for the development not only of cardiovascular disease, but also of other chronic health problems such as obesity and diabetes.
Today, however, along with the growing prevalence of this type of disease, there is hope that their prevention can be much more successful.
Appetite for salty foods is regulated by a series of neurological processes that scientists continue to clarify. However, current data show that some of these processes are suppressed by consuming spicy foods . This suppresses the appetite for salty, and this feature can be used as an effective culinary tool for the prevention of hypertension and other chronic diseases.
Studies have shown that in moderate doses, the alkaloid capsaicin , which gives the characteristic aroma and taste of spicy foods, also innervates the receptors that perceive the salty taste of food. This feature was proven by a study of 600 people with different preferences for salty and spicy. It has been found that lovers of spicy foods very rarely abuse salt, unlike people who do not like spicy taste .
Scientists explain this pattern by the fact that the first group of people have a dull appetite for salt, precisely due to the intake of spicy foods. This is exactly the reason why this group of people has a blood pressure on average 10 mmHg lower than that of lovers of salty dishes.
The researchers concluded that the intake of spicy foods can be recommended as an alternative to salty foods in people with problematic blood pressure, as well as in those prone to hypertension.