One of the highlights of my year is the annual âSpicy Food Festivalâ that takes place in my neighborhood. Aside from adding some great music and delicious food, itâs also really good for my health.
Itâs long been said that âspicing up your lifeâ can lead to happiness and longevity. When youâre stuck doing the same old thing day in and day out, year after year, things can get a little boring. But when youâre interested and motivated, you can recapture the energy thatâs been missing.
But adding a little excitement isnât the only way to improve your health. New research is showing that adding some spiceâin the most literal senseâmight lower your risk of death. As it turns out, that âsuicideâ hot sauce might extend your life instead!
The Mediterranean diet has been heavily studied in recent years and its benefits for heart health and weight management have been clearly identified. But itâs not for everybody, and it certainly isnât the only show in town. If youâd like to replace your olive oil and grilled chicken with a spicy chicken curry, you can likely experience some similar health benefits.
Thereâs been plenty of research to support the beneficial effects of spicesâspecifically capsaicin (a main component in chili pepper). Capsaicin is noted to have antioxidant, anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects, so it makes sense to think that a diet high in spicy food is also great for your health.
In an observational study looking at over 487,300 participants, an international research team found that the more frequently people consumed spicy food, the less likely they were to die. People who had spicy food once or twice per week were 10% less likely to die than those who ate it less than once per week, while those who ate it three to five or six to seven times a week were 14% less likely to die from any cause. The results were even better for participants who didnât consume alcohol. (So if youâre going for the spicy wings, youâll want to skip the beer.)
People who enjoyed spicy food more frequently appeared to have a lower risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory diseases.
Although this study was observational in nature and does not prove cause and effect, its results are quite valuable. It reinforces the fact that there is more than one way to eat healthy, and that various sources of health-promoting foods can offer similar benefits. You can diet and experience benefits by eating fresh food thatâs tailored to your taste. Better yet, you can add some spice to all those veggies to give them a little flavor and an extra health boostâno more boring salad!
Source for Todayâs Article:
âRegular consumption of spicy foods linked to lower risk of early death,â Science daily web site, August 4, 2015; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150804202650.htm.