Adding some spice to your food does more than kick the flavor up a notch. Research has shown that capsaicin, an ingredient in hot peppers, may also be a weapon in the weight-loss war. A study published in the Journal of Proteome Research found that the spicy substance may trigger protein changes in the body that cause weight loss and fight fat storage. Researchers speculate that capsaicin may help fight fat by cutting calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and reducing fat levels in the bloodstream. There are several kinds of spicy peppers. Try adding some heat to your next meal or snack. (The white membrane and seeds are the source of the spiciness, so simply use less of them if the pepper is too piquant for your taste.)
Aji: Use this South American pepper in salsa, ceviche, sauces, or pickled dishes.
Cayenne: Add it, finely chopped, to sauces, stews, soups, or dips. (Related: Worst chips and dips)
Chiltepin: Chop it up for soups, stews, salsas or chorizo.
Chile de arbol: Use it in huevos rancheros or fish dishes.
Datil: Great for hot sauce recipes and chili. (Video: Vegetarian chili)
Habanero: This all-around chile pepper is ideal for sauces, chili, meat, and seafood dishes.
Jalapeño: Dice and add to salsa or pico de gallo.
Malagueta: Sprinkle into chili or fish stew.
Naga: Use to flavor canning vegetables.
Scotch bonnet: Adds flavor to Jamaican jerk spice and curries.
Rocoto: Commonly known as manzano chile, it’s delicious in salsa. (Search: Fresh salsa recipes)
Tabasco: Use as a condiment for any dish needing a little heat. It’s especially good in fish dishes. (Related: 6 Supersmart seafood choices)
Thai pepper: Complements kebab-style grilled veggies and meat.