According to this LiveScience.com article, a new study suggests that the component capsaicin, found in chili peppers, might actually prevent the build-up of fat. Capsaicin is the stuff that causes the burning sensation when you bite into a chili pepper, and makes any foods flavored with chilis hot and spicy. The article reports, "Capsaicin may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering fat levels in the blood."

Researchers from Daegu University in Korea fed lab rats high-fat diets both with capsaicin and without it. The rats that ingested capsaicin experienced changes in at least 20 fat proteins, which triggered the breakdown of fat molecules. These rats also lost 8 percent of their total body weight.

For more on this study, read the full article on LiveScience.com.

This is great news for all you spicy food lovers--who knew that your favorite fiery recipe could actually help you shed some pounds? To give you even more options, we've rounded up 12 delicious meals from Yummy.ph that pack a lot of heat. Check them out below, and let us know which dishes you're most eager to try! Got some spicy recipes of your own to share? Leave us a comment; we'd love to hear from you!

(Flashbox photo from sxc.hu; all gallery photos courtesy of Yummy.ph)

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