A new study involving 4,582 Chinese adults aged over 55 found that there was faster cognitive decline in people who consistently consumed more than 50 grams of chilli per day. And it turned out that memory decline was even more significant if the chilli lovers were slim. The study, published in the journal Nutrients, showed that those who consumed in excess of 50 grams of chili a day had almost double the risk of memory decline and poor cognition.
Lead author of the study, Zumin Shi from Qatar University, said that unlike previous studies which found chillies to be beneficial for body weight and blood pressure, the new study found adverse effects on cognition among older adults. As scientists opine on the ill effects of chilli on human cognitive functions, here are some of the world's spiciest foods that you may now want to have a second thought before consuming.
Ghost peppers or Bhut jolokia: Grown in Northeast India, the pepper is 107 to 417 times spicier than jalapeno and 10 times as fiery as a habanero. In 2007, Guinness World Records certified that the ghost pepper was the world's hottest chili pepper, 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.
Horseradish: While peppers are spicy because of the capsaicin in them, horseradish has isothiocyanate, a component that reacts with air and saliva to create that fiery-mouth feeling. For people who like a side of wasabi, they can vouch that when consumed too much it can overpower any other flavour.
Vindaloo: A vindaloo is an Indian curry dish popular in the region of Goa, Vasai, the surrounding Konkan, Kerala and many other parts of India. A staple of the Goan cuisine it is often regarded as a fiery, spicy dish.
Phaal Curry: A British-Asian fusion dish, Phaal originated in the Indian restaurants of Birmingham, England, and adds scotch bonnet and sometimes habanero chilis to add an almost unendurable level of heat.
Papa a la Huancaína: It is a Peruvian appetizer of boiled yellow potatoes in a spicy, creamy sauce called Huancaína sauce. While it may somewhat have a benign appearance, the presence of medium-hot aji amarillo peppers and habanero are bound to set one's mouth on fire.
Sichuan Hot Pot: Traditionally served in a large metal bowl, probably because it would burn its way through anything else, it contains peppercorns, dried chilies (whole), and the spicy Sichuan hot pot soup base.
Kimchi Jjigae: A staple stew in Korean cuisine, it is made extremely hot by slowly simmering the stew and infusing it with spicy aged kimchee.