A new study has found that those who like spicy foods, live longer lives. Spices have long been linked to various health benefits such as managing blood pressure levels, fighting off inflammations, heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and even cancer. And an unproven, yet lingering theory says that spices may also have an influence on gut bacteria.
But the new study may have found the most remarkable benefit of all as frequent consumption of such meals has been scientifically proven to lower a person’s risk of experiencing premature death.
Researchers from the Harvard School Of Medicine (Boston) say that test subjects who indulged in spicy meals three (3) times per week or more had 14 percent (14%) less of a chance of dying over the course of the study, when compared to subjects who only ate one spicy meal per week or less.
What’s more, test subjects who indulged in spicy meals once or twice per week had 10 percent (10%) less of a chance of dying over the course of the study.
Dr. Lu Qi, lead author on the study and associate professor of medicine from the Harvard School Of Medicine, gave a statement informing that the finding is a very simple one “If you eat more spicy food, it’s better for your health and lowers the risk for mortality, especially as it relates to cancer and heart disease”.
For their study, the researchers looked at 487.375 participants from China Kadoorie’s Biobank study, 199.000 of them were men and 288.000 of them were women. The subjects were all between the ages of 30 and 79, and the researchers tracked each of them for about 7.2 years.
The subjects were asked question about their lifestyle, dietary habits and health history. The researchers then compared their answers to death records in order to see whether or not they could find a correlation. Overall, more than 20.000 subjects died during the study.
What Dr. Qi and his team found was that the more frequently someone ate spicy food, the less likely they were to die over the course of the study. Control factors such as age and gender did not change this finding.
Test subjects who ate spicy foods anywhere between three (3) to five (5) times per week were 14 percent (14%) less likely to experience a premature death.
Test subjects who ate spicy foods six (6) or seven (7) times per week were 29 percent (29%) less likely to die from respiratory diseases, 22 percent (22%) less likely to die from ischemic heart disease, 8 percent (8%) less likely to die from cancer, and 14 percent (14%) less likely to die from any other cause.
Women get bonus benefits too. When the experts separate female subjects from male subjects, they noticed that the more frequently a woman ate spicy foods, the less likely she was to die from infections. In fact, the women who most often induced in spicy foods had 45 percent (45%) less of a chance of dyeing from infections.
There were no such benefits for men.
The subjects who were the least likely to die from type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer were the ones who ate fresh chili peppers rather than chili sauce, dried chili pepper, chili oil or some other spice. The explanation could be that fresh chili peppers have more capsaicin, nutrients (potassium) and vitamins (A, C, K, B6).
The study was published earlier this week, on Tuesday (August 4, 2015), in the journal BMJ.
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