If you crave the flavor of hot peppers and the like, there might be good news for your blood pressure. People who love very spicy food consumed less salt and had blood pressure readings lower than those who avoided tongue-sizzling tastes. That's according to a recent study in the Journal Hypertension from China's Third Military Medical University. Brain scans of the subjects found something surprising (and useful if you're trying to reduce added salt): Capsaicin, the spicy component of chili peppers, increased activity in brain regions that were also stimulated when salt was consumed. Spicy flavors seem to make the brain more sensitive to salty tastes, potentially taking less salt to satisfy.
Consumer Reports-Guide to Wellness