Recent research has suggested that a decreased susceptibility to death is just one more awesome thing about spicy food.
An analysis of dietary data on more than 485,000 people in China that spanned seven years and 20,224 deaths found consuming chili peppers, for example, once or twice a week resulted in a 10 per cent reduced overall risk for death. You can even bump it to 14 per cent by eating spicy food every day of the week.
So that sriracha vinaigrette you put on your watermelon salad isn’t a guilty pleasure at all – it’s just healthy, responsible eating.
Much like exercise, eating your vitamins, and not smoking, eating hot food reduces rates of ischemic heart disease, respiratory diseases, and cancers. The study’s authors believe the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient capsaicin, the active component of chili peppers, has something to do with it.
Conclusions could not be drawn about cause and effect, however, and experts warned that the study is not enough to prompted a change in diet.
Even so, we think our new favourite new motto is: A pepper a day keeps the doctor away.