What causes our bodies to age? Over time our health tends to deteriorate, but why and is there a way to slow the process down? One cause researchers have been able to identify is the toll oxidative stress takes on the body over time. When we are exposed to UV damage and other environmental toxins, our cells are slowly becoming less and less able to replenish themselves and fight off diseases. When our cell health is compromised our bodies start to show the signs of aging: wrinkles, graying hair and or hair loss, degenerative diseases, and more frequent illnesses. But if this happens as our bodies are naturally affected by the toxins of the world around them, how can we slow down the process?
One great way is through utilizing antioxidants to neutralize these toxins before they can cause permanent damage. Antioxidants are found in many vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin C, and are found naturally in the body in the form of glutathione. Antioxidants have the amazing ability to both heal cellular damage and protect cells against further damage being done, and this decrease in damaged cells can lead to longer, healthier lives for many.
But antioxidants cannot remove all the forms of stress our bodies are put through, one being the physical and emotional toll of being in pain. Pain occurs when the nerves send signals to the brain telling it that something is wrong and it needs attention. While important in helping us know to avoid things that hurt us, chronic pain can greatly affect one’s life and studies have shown that those who experience more pain throughout their lives tend to age sooner and have more complications as they age. Researchers have therefore been looking for ways to decrease pain that don’t involve large amounts of pain medication, the goal being to naturally decrease the amount of pain ever experienced rather than treating pain with drugs. And one great potential option has shown to be something as simple as eating spicy foods!
Spicy foods, in particular chili peppers, can naturally lower how much the body experiences pain and through that reduce the amount of stress it takes on the body. Chili peppers contain capsaicin which has been used to treat all types of pain and can reduce the amount of stress the body receives from pain over time. So while the nutrients in spicy foods alone may not be enough to prolong life, consuming capsaicin regularly affects parts of the brain associated with pain sensors and health. When these parts of the brain reduce stress and damage, people have been shown to live longer, healthier lives with less metabolic decline over time.
Capsaicin can ease all types of pain, whether external or internal and ranging from arthritis pain to neuropathic pain, or even skin conditions that have a painful itch. And with less pain people are free to live their lives more fully, enjoying more activities and able to be more comfortably active. Through this, capsaicin reducing pain can improve problems with obesity or other health conditions. More research is required, but the implications so far have helped lead the way for a better understanding of why we age and how to maintain our health and happiness throughout the years.
By Samantha Dillon, DR Vitamin Solutions