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Hate Spicy Food? Eating Chilli Peppers Can Keep You Alive Longer

Red hot chilli peppers | Image credit Reuters

Red hot chilli peppers | Image credit Reuters

The anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin found in chili peppers has been found to help fight cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Eating chilli peppers may help you reduce risk of premature death from cardiovascular diseases or cancer. According to a study, those who eat chillies reduce risk of these diseases by almost a quarter.

Scientists attribute this amazing feature to the anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin. It is the compound that gives chillies their spicy taste. Their action in the body can help combat both tumours as well as inflammation while keeping the blood glucose levels in control.

The study was conducted with the health and diet record of around 570,000 people globally and the researchers called the results as “remarkable.” But like any other study based on volunteered information, the results are not conclusive or concrete and the researchers assert more individual studies need to be carried to establish which varieties of chilli confer such protection or what quantity of consumption helps.

As the British are not known to be very fond of this fiery vegetable, the study researchers said they can probably use this lockdown to inculcate the habit of eating more chillies, tabloid Daily Mail reported.

As due to the lockdown, more people are cooking at home, heart experts think this is a good time to experiment with spices and chillies and get into the habit of healthy eating.

Researchers said adding fresh or dried chilli, or even black pepper to the meals not only add flavour but also reduce salt requirement. Excessive salt intake is associated with blood pressure and heart disorders. However, they advised to abstain from readymade chilli sauces and mixes like spice mix or spice rub as they may have very high levels of sodium in them.

Lead author of the study was Bo Xu of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio added, “Regular consumption of chilli pepper was associated with an overall risk-reduction of all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.”

The details for the study were pooled in from previous studies conducted in China, Iran, Italy and the US. Dr Xu added that these results highlight the importance of dietary factors in overall health. However, he asked to not read these results as ‘eating chillies will make you live longer or reduce number of death,’ and only be seen as advisory on health benefits of capsaicin.


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