5 Spicy Dishes for Your Health

That burning sensation on the tongue when you eat something spicy may be too hot for some to handle, but it turns out all that spice is good for you.

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Research has shown that capsaicin (the ingredient that gives chili peppers its heat) and turmeric (a spice used in curries) may help with relieving arthritis pain, promoting good circulation, losing weight, as well as lowering a person's risk of cancer and Alzheimer's disease. For a true flavour boost and an awesome health kick, give these five fiery dishes a try. 

 
Next: Kimchi

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1. Kimchi

Made with a spicy cabbage known as "baechu" and various seasonings, this pickled dish is a staple in South Korean cuisine. Among its health benefits, kimchi contains a high concentration of dietary fibre, is rich in vitamins A, B1 and B2, and is also low in calories.

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2. Jerk Chicken

This popular Caribbean dish is made by marinating pieces of chicken with Jamaican jerk spice, a hot spice mixture that contains Scotch bonnet peppers as its main ingredient. Scotch bonnets are one of the hottest chili peppers in the world and therefore makes jerk chicken an ideal dish for the ultimate spicy food fanatic. 

 

Try this recipe: Jerk Chicken Salad

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3. Penne all'Arrabbiata

The Italian term "all'arrabbiata" literally means "angry style", and this pasta dish was aptly-named such due to its spicy sauce made of garlic, tomatoes, and red hot chili peppers. Sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley on top, this is a fast and easy meal to make on any night of the week. 

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4. Vindaloo Curry

A popular dish in the Indian state of Goa, this recipe was brought to the Goans by the Portuguese who traditionally make this dish with pork, wine, garlic and chili peppers. The Goans turned this meal into a curry dish by adding numerous spices to it including turmeric, cardamom and coriander. The Goan version is also often prepared with chicken or lamb instead of pork.

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5. Kung Pao Chicken

This classic dish originates from the Sichuan Province, a region in China where the cuisine is distinctly known for its bold and spicy flavours due to the liberal use of chili peppers and garlic. Popular in Chinese restaurants, the Westernized version of this recipe usually consists of diced marinated chicken that is stir-fried with roasted peanuts, chopped vegetables (such as red and green bell peppers, celery, carrots, and water chestnuts), rice wine, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and chili peppers.

 

Remember, as with all types of foods you eat, moderation is key. Now go on and add some heat to your meals to start reaping all the health benefits spicy foods has to offer!