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Why Do Chili Peppers Give Us the Hiccups?

If you’ve ever gotten hiccups after eating a spicy food with chili peppers in it, there’s an explanation for that. According to Medical News Today, capsaicin in the peppers stimulates — or irritates, depending on how you look at it — neurons in your diaphragm, which contracts in response, sometimes triggering hiccups. While not everyone will get hiccups, one study does say that both a preference for spicy food and your physiological response to it is in your genes.

Aside from their varying levels of spiciness, chili peppers have some compelling benefits to your health, all thanks to capsaicin. Studies have shown that they can help fight inflammation, boost immunity, reduce insulin levels and even protect your heart by reducing triglycerides in your body. Add to that something you probably already know if you eat them at all, that chili peppers also can work to prevent sinusitis and nasal congestion, and you have plenty of reasons to indulge in this spicy food if you like it.

Even more exciting, recent research found capsaicin in chili peppers, can reduce the speed of cancer cell growth and increase the rate of death in triple negative breast cancer cells.

But, while capsaicin alone is a powerful molecule, in combination with 6-gingerol found in raw ginger root, it becomes even more important to your health. In a recent study, researchers discovered mice who were prone to lung cancer experienced a reduction in diagnosis when fed a combination of capsaicin and 6-gingerol. Ginger and capsaicin together have also shown powerful health effects in calming nausea related to surgery, morning sickness and chemotherapy.

And, alone or together, both capsaicin and ginger have strong anti-inflammatory properties that given many people relief with osteoarthritis and menstrual pain.
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