Ah, the question of the ages: is hot sauce healthy? To put it simply, the answer is yes! At 6 Pack Fitness, we were already well aware of the general healthiness of hot sauce – but we wanted to make an even healthier version, the very first of its kind specifically designed with the modern athlete in mind. Find out more about oursauces, buy them, and keep reading to learn more about why your diet can benefit from an extra slathering of hot sauce.
Hot sauce comes from chili peppers. Peppers in all their forms can offer health benefits, but there’s something special about chili peppers. It’s what gives them heat, but it’s also what makes hot sauce healthy: capsaicin, the little ingredient that could! It might sound like the name of a Pokemon, but it’s actually an active component of chili peppers, and it’s been shown to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
One study that involved half a million Chinese adults discovered that those who consumed spicy foods 3 or more times weekly experienced a 14% reduction in the risk of death.
Capsaicin’s anticancer effects are also being studied, and the potential is high. In fact, one theory suggests that capsaicin can trigger apoptosis, which is a kind of cellular suicide. Essentially, it can encourage the death of cells, which are then recycled into new cells.
The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it has – but that doesn’t necessarily translate into healthiest. As it turns out, some studies have found that capsaicin’s interaction with other compounds within peppers contributes to its healthiness. Cutting and cooking can actually promote the release of these compounds from pepper tissue, thus increasing their availability, which means that bottled peppers – in other words, hot sauce – stand to be even healthier than we thought!
Capsaicin is a fat-soluble molecule, which means that it’s even more effective when paired with a (healthy) fat, such as olive oil. This allows it to be more easily absorbed by the body.
But not all hot sauces are created equally. This is why it’s especially important to always look at the ingredients. You want to look for low sodium and low sugar; two of our 6 Pack sauces – Jalapeño and Habanero – include no sugar at all, while the other two – Chipotle and Mango Serrano – are low-sugar, with only half a gram per serving! While most hot sauce brands have somewhere around 5 or 6 calories per tablespoon, all four of 6 Pack’s hot sauces proudly proclaim 0 calories!
3 More Reasons to Answer “Yes” to “Is Hot Sauce Healthy?”
1. It’s a metabolism booster! One reason for this is that the rise in body temperature can help speed up metabolism in small increments. A study conducted by Penn State also found that consuming hot sauce can increase your body’s metabolic rate by up to 20%, which can last up to half an hour.
2. It can help improve your digestion. This is thanks to the fact that the heat stimulates blood flow to the stomach, which increases the mucous lining. Capsaicin can also kill certain bacteria, which can help prevent ulcers.
3. It has the potential to boost your mood. When you consume hot foods, endorphins are released; this helps you enjoy the next hot bite even more, but also promotes a general sense of overall well-being and stress relief.
So, is hot sauce healthy? We’re happy to confirm the answer is yes, especially when you choose 6 Pack’s ultra-healthy varieties, specifically formulated for nutritionally conscious athletes with culinary authority Chef Parke Ulrich.
Find your dietary inspiration with our exclusive recipe for Mango Serrano Shrimp Kabobs, utilizing our very own Mango Serrano hot sauce. Find your favorite healthy hot sauce among all the choices, including the spicy punch of Jalapeño, flavorful smokiness of Chipotle, and extreme heat of Habanero!