Spicy food may help curb unhealthy craving for salt

Spicy food may help curb unhealthy craving for salt”

Reducing the amount of salt in the diet also reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. That's because, despite current efforts to reduce high blood pressure have emphasized o get people to cutting back on salt in cooking, at the table and in prepared foods, not much of a dent has been made in reducing people's salt intake, the researchers said.

People with a high preference for spicy foodhad systolic blood pressure that was reduced by an average of 8 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and their diastolic pressure was reduced by an average of 5 mm Hg, compared to with people with a low preference for spicy food.

Now, however, researchers think that they have found a way to "rig" this neurobiological process: eating spicy foods seems to be tricking our brain into not wanting salty foods as much.

Magnesium cream could be used as an alternative or in addition to medication to combat high blood pressure, a recent study has found. And according to a study recently covered by Medical News Today, too much sodium can significantly increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, and the mineral - which is usually derived from salt - can double the risk of heart failure.

Only 86 per cent of the population now meet recommended magnesium levels in their diet, according to the researchers from the University of Hertfordshire.

Fans of spicy foods might be doing their hearts a favor by adding more heat to their meals, a new study from China suggests.

Researchers also examined two regions of the participants' brains, the insula and orbitofrontal cortex, which is known to be involved in tasting salt.

Researchers at the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China asked 606 local adults about their taste preferences, and then tested participants' blood pressure. That's because salt and spice appear to activate brain activity in overlapping parts of the brain, enhancing sensitivity to either taste.

However, the authors also admit that the study sample was limited to the Chinese population, so future studies should aim to investigate whether or not these findings can be replicated in other populations.

"Yes, habit and preference matter when it comes to spicy food, but even a small, gradual increase in spices in your food may have a health benefit", Zhu said. While the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2300 mg of sodium per day - which is about 6 g of salt - most Australian adults have a daily salt intake of about 10 g.

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