Here's Why You Should Keep Hot Sauce in Your Bag

May 2nd 2016

Kyle Jaeger

From politics to pop culture, hot sauce has become a hot topic in 2016. The probably a good thing, too, because the spicy condiment is actually beneficial to your health.

First, the politics of hot sauce.

In a recent radio interview, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claimed that hot sauce "keeps my immune system strong," which is apparently why she keeps a bottle of the good stuff with her at all times. "I really do," Clinton said. "I think hot sauce is good for you.”

Some suspected that Clinton's enthusiasm for hot sauce was a political move, designed to bolster her support among Black voters. The radio program that she chose to disclose her affection for hot sauce on is "targeted towards black people," The Atlantic reports, which contributed to the suspicion. But the candidate's love for hot sauce is well-documented.

Now, the health benefits of hot sauce.

Clinton's remarks about hot sauce — specifically that it's good for your health and boosts the immune system — are backed by science.

The active ingredient in peppers used to make hot sauce, capsaicin, is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and even anticancer properties, Time reports. Last year, a study published in The British Medical Journal — which surveyed approximately 500,000 people in China — found that people who ate spicy foods three or more times per week experienced a 14 percent reduced risk of death.

What's more, hot sauce can help you lose weight. Studies show that adding capsaicin to your diet can help you burn energy faster and curb your appetite. Researchers at Purdue University found that people who introduced capsaicin to their diets reported a decreased appetite for fatty, salty, and sweet foods.

"The bottom line is that any kind of vegetable material you consume will improve your health," Dr. David Popovich told Time. "But hot peppers are really beneficial for you, if you can take the spice."

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