Long life expectancy could be achieved by eating spicy foods. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health published in 2005 in the British Medical Journal found people who ate spicy foods every day had a 14 percent lower risk of death than people who ate spicy foods once a week.
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The researchers evaluated the health and diet information of almost 500,000 people in China from 2004 to 2008, then followed up with them a few years later.
The study was observational, so didn’t show if spicy foods caused people to live longer, but that people who regularly ate spicy food were less likely to have died during the study period than those who ate spicy food less frequently.
Study author Dr Lu Qi said: “Some evidence from other studies suggests the bioactive ingredients in spicy foods such as capsaicin may lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides and improve inflammation.”
Foods with fresh and dried chilli peppers have been shown to be most beneficial.
A study published in the journal PLoS ONE also linked red hot chilli peppers with a 13 percent lower risk of death.
Using data from the National Health and Examination Survey, scientists from the University of Vermont analysed the diets of over 16,000 American adults.
They asked the question, “How often do you have red hot chilli peppers?”
Those who ate any hot peppers in the past month had a lower mortality rate over a period of 18 years, after adjusting for other factors.
Among capsaicin’s benefits is weight loss. Some evidence suggests it can promote weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing fat burning.
Studies show 10g of red chilli pepper can significantly increase fat burning in both men and women.
Capsaicin may also reduce calorie intake. A study involving 24 people who consumed chilli regularly discovered taking capsaicin before a meal led to reduce calorie intake.
Losing weight if you’re overweight or obese can reduce your risk of some potentially serious health problems.
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Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Lab studies have shown capsaicin ansi has strong anti-cancer properties and is capable of killing over 40 types of cancer cells without harming normal cells.
Capsaicin has been shown to fight cancer be stopping the growth and division of cancer cells, slowing the formation of new blood vessels around cancer tumours, and preventing cancer from spreading to other areas of the body.
Some of the biggest risk factors for heart disease include diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
But capsaicin can help reduce the impact of these factors and keep the heart healthy.
Eating 5g of chilli peppers before a high-carb meal has been shown to help stabilise blood sugars and prevent large spikes that occur after meals.
Capsaicin has also been shown to lower cholesterol – high cholesterol ca make you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke.
Other spicy foods that contain capsaicin are jalapeño peppers and cayenne peppers.
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