Load Your Tacos Up With Hot Sauce Because A New Study Shows That Eating Chilies Is Good For Your Health
Chilies have been hailed as a holy grail food by many for its flavor and mythic health properties. Now, researches in Italy have found that consuming chilies as a part of your regular diet can lower the risk of death from stroke and heart disease.
Researchers monitored almost 23,000 people’s health status and eating habits for over eight years. Using data pulled from the Moli-sani study which has 25,000 participants from the Molise region of southern Italy. The study found that the risk of dying from a heart attack was lower by a whopping 40 percent among the participants who reported eating chili peppers four times a week at least. The risk of death from stroke was lowered by over 50 percent.
It doesn’t matter what else you eat, as long as you eat chili peppers.
The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and demonstrated that regardless of what the individual’s broader diet was, simply the inclusion of chili peppers reduced the potential risk.
Similar studies in the United States and China show that chiles are good for your health.
So what makes these peppers slap so hard? It’s scientific.
It’s all about the spice. Peppers high capsaicin, like the spicy Carolina Reaper, were the ones that lowered the death risks in study participants.
“In general the association of sweet peppers with mortality were less strong than the ones of chili peppers, suggesting a role for capsaicin,” Bonaccio said.
Other peppers, like sweet bell peppers, which are low in capsaicin due to a recessive gene were less beneficial.
“In a large adult Mediterranean population, regular consumption of chili pepper is associated with a lower risk of total and CVD death independent of CVD risk factors or adherence to a Mediterranean diet. Known biomarkers of CVD risk only marginally mediate the association of chili pepper intake with mortality,” the study concluded.
However, skeptics are less enthusiastic about finding the study conclusive. Duane Mellor, a dietitian at Aston Medical School in the United Kingdom told CNN the study “does not show a causal link.”
“This type of relationship suggests that chilies may be just a marker for some other dietary or lifestyle factor that hasn’t been accounted for but, to be fair, this kind of uncertainty is usually present in epidemiological studies, and the authors do acknowledge this,” Ian Johnson, a nutrition researcher, told CNN.
More research is needed because other factors could contribute to the observed effect, however, three studies in three different countries with very large samples are highly suggestive of the chilies’ benefits.