Most people like to add a little something to liven up their life experiences, and, if you pick the right type of spice, this can help lengthen your life.
Specifically, we are talking about spicy foods.
A team of researchers led by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences found that eating spicy foods on a regular basis can reduce your risk of premature death by 14 percent. The study went even further, though, in pinpointing spicy foods that can be of particular benefit and found that fresh chili peppers are
“most effective in providing people with a lower risk of dying from cancer, ischemic heart disease and diabetes. It’s explained that fresh chili pepper’s combination of powerful ingredients are responsible for such health-boosting benefits.
“‘Compared with non-fresh spicy foods such as dried chilli pepper, chilli sauce or chilli oil,’ says Lu Qi, associate professor at Harvard School of Public Health, ‘fresh chilli pepper is richer in bioactive ingredients, including capsaicin, vitamin C, and other nutrients such as vitamin A, K, and B6 and potassium.'”
The study, conducted by survey over a seven year period also noted that frequency of ingestion of the spicy foods played an important part in the beneficial impact on people’s lives. For example, people who ate spicy foods 1 to 2 times per week as compared to people who ate spicy foods less than once per week. Those who ate spicy foods every other day or more often saw a decrease in mortality rates of 14%.
While this study is an observational study, meaning that, because it was simply observing and not intentionally testing for a change in diet, a definite cause-effect relationship cannot be determined with this study. However, two factors make this study worth paying attention to:
- This study reviewed survey results and mortality data for “487,375 participants, aged 30-79 years, from the China Kadoorie Biobank. Participants were enrolled between 2004-2008 and followed up for morbidities and mortality.” The sheer size of this study would seem to indicate a likely pattern to be true.
- Other previous research has indicated a similar connection between eating spicy foods and longevity.
Based on this data, it seems likely that, while causation cannot be definitively determined, correlation is likely. In layman’s terms: It’s seems pretty likely that loading up on fresh chili peppers and other spicy foods helps you to live longer, so we recommend it.