People who like to eat a fresh chili pepper with their food even 3 to 5 times a week might be happy to find out that they are more likely than others to have a long and healthy life. Or at least, this is what a new research says.
According to a study led by a team of international researchers, people who eat spicy food and don’t drink too much alcohol have up to 14 percent fewer chances of suffering from premature death.
The researchers looked at the data collected from 487, 375 people. This data was obtained from the China Kadoorie Biobank study, and targeted residents of the most populous areas. The people involved in the study, whose ages ranged from 30 to 79 were tracked for 7.2 years. The participants were surveyed in relation to their lifestyle choices, such as the consumption of alcohol, vegetables, meat, spices, and general health.
Contrary to the belief that spicy food can do more harm than good, as it has often been associated with insomnia and digestive problems, the results of this study revealed that people who ate spicy food once every week, lowered their chances of death by 10 percent, while those who consumed it more often, at least 3 times a week, lowered their risk of suffering from premature death by 14 percent.
Moreover, spicy food is linked to lower body mass index, fewer chances of suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure. Spice has also been linked to a healthier heart and lower risk of developing certain types of cancer. The main ingredient that is responsible for these amazing benefits seems to be capsaicin, the component from chili pepper that gives it a kick. Chili peppers also contain loads of vitamin C and anti-oxidants, that are useful in fighting cancer.
The authors also came to the conclusion that people who never or hardly ever drank alcohol increased their chances of survival.
Throughout the seven years, the researchers recorded 20,000 deaths among the participants. However, none of these deaths was associated with the excessive consumption of spicy food. In fact, those who liked to eat a lot of chili pepper had 29 percent lower risk of dying from respiratory illness.
Of course, the way we cook our food and add the spices in it is extremely important as well, just as it is essential to have a healthy lifestyle in general.
The study is observational but, given the large number of people involved in it, it could be said that spices might have a role in keeping us healthy, so we shouldn’t hesitate to add new flavors to our food.
Image Source: natures-health-foods.com