Spicy Foods Lower Disease Risk

That's it. ·
Dried chilis and chili powder on wood table

In a study involving nearly 500,000 participants between the ages of 30 and 80, the researchers measured mortality rates from 2004-2008, measuring them against their general eating habits such as consumption of spicy foods. Says a new research finding conducted by an international group led by the Chinese Academy of Medical sciences.

The findings were full of spices. Participants who ate spicy foods almost every day had a relative 14% lower risk of death compared to those who consumed spicy foods less than once a week, the study says. Furthermore, the researchers found that there was a positive correlation between spicy food consumption and cancer, heart, and respiratory diseases as well.

Considering public health factors rank high among mortality causes, naturally finding ways to decrease disease risk will extend life expectancy. And it looks like in this case, the researchers have found another plant-based benefit. Commonly used spices in the study were fresh and dried chilli peppers, which are known to offer health benefits through bioactive ingredients such as capsaicin, vitamin C, among other nutrients. Those with a sweeter tooth can tap into the benefits as well; check out our previous post for the non-spicy alternative to decrease disease risk.

Though researchers note it’s still too early for them to advise people to start eating spicy foods regularly to improve health, the authors say consuming foods with bioactive ingredients like those in chilli peppers will likely have anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammation and anticancer effects.

Well food lovers, here’s another reason to seek the hot mouth thrill. Keep some of our raw fruit bars at hand to down from those omg-so-spicy moments.