If you like a little heat with your food like our editors, you may also be doing some good for your longevity. It turns out that eating chili peppers may help you live longer, according to a recent study out of Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute in Cleveland, Ohio.
The study examined the diets of more than 500,000 people globally and found that those who regularly consumed chili peppers had a reduced risk of dying from heart and vascular-related causes as well as cancer-related deaths.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Bo Xu, believes the benefits may be found in capsaicin — the compound which gives the pepper its spicy taste and smell. Capsaicin has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect on the body, and additionally, helps to regulate blood glucose levels.
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“If you’re someone who likes spicy food, hopefully this gives you confirmation. If you’re someone who never tried spicy food, I think, at least hopefully, this study will serve as an incentive for you to give it a go,” said Dr. Xu.
Dr. Xu cautions that the research does not offer up just how much chili pepper we should consume, or how often and that more research is needed.
Other studies have found links between eating spicy foods and gastric cancer.
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