Culture

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.

“An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed,” Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute (Neuromed) and study lead author, told CNN. “In other words, someone can follow the healthy Mediterranean diet, someone else can eat less healthily, but for all of them chili pepper has a protective effect.”
Call it a win for every country that was colonized for their spices — it’s not just the melanin! In Italy, the peppers usage has been consistent in its cuisine.
“And now, as already observed in China and in the United States, we know that the various plants of the capsicum species, although consumed in different ways throughout the world, can exert a protective action towards our health,” Licia Lacoviello, director of the department of epidemiology and prevention at Neuromed, told CNN.

Similar studies in the United States and China show that chiles are good for your health.

Lacoviello might be referencing a 2015 BMJ study that analyzed 487,375 people across 10 Chinese regions in the country. The study found that those who ate spicy foods six to seven times a week at least had 14 percent lower risks of death than participants who ate spices only once a week.
The BMJ study echoed Bonaccio’s earlier point, it suggested that people who ate spicier foods generally had poorer health habits but they still benefitted from the chilies. However, those who frequently ate chilies and excluded alcohol benefitted the most.
In 2017, a PLOS ONE study in the United States analyzed date from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. Of the 16,179 Americans surveyed those who ate red chili peppers had a 13 percent lower death risk than those who didn’t.

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.” 

“It is plausible people who use chilies, as the data suggests also used more herbs and spices, and as such likely to be eating more fresh foods including vegetables,” Mellor said. “So, although chilies can be a tasty addition to our recipes and meals, any direct effect is likely to be small and it is more likely that it makes eating other healthy foods more pleasurable.”
However, the study from China noted the opposite (that people who ate spicy foods had poorer diets) and it had the largest sample of the three studies.

“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. 

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Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

Culture

Here Are 9 Salsas From Across Latin America That You’ll Carry In Your Bag Every Day Of The Week

I guarantee that since Beyonce’s hit anthem ‘Formation’ hit the airwaves, we’ve all been wanting to channel our inner Bey and carry some hot sauce in our bags. But which one would you choose?  

Whether you prefer sweet and sour, ranch, spicy, or mild, when it comes to options, the possibilities are endless!

A sauce’s beauty is that every country has its famous creation that usually accompanies their traditional dishes. Every Latin American country has its mouth-watering sauce that was created using recipes passed down from ancestors.

AJILIMOJILI

In Puerto Rico, this sauce is quite popular because of its ají dulce flavor – a mix of sweet and sour notes. The green salsa is the Caribbean’s version of hot sauce and is added to recipes, such as seafood and boiled vegetables.

VALENTINA

Few of us don’t know about the magic that is Valentina. Pour that sauce all over your papas, pizza, jicama, elotes, and so much more. And it’s great because it’s available in a variety of heat levels so everyone can enjoy. 

TIÁ LUPITA HABANERO SAUCE

This Habanero Hot Sauce is an original family recipe of the brand and combines just the right amount of heat with each fruit’s natural sweetness. It is handmade in small batches, using only habanero peppers, dates, mangos, and spices. All ingredients are sourced from local farms and are non-GMO and gluten-free certified.

The sauce can be used as a condiment with breakfast burritos, eggs, sandwiches, tacos, pulled pork, steak, chicken, fish, quesadillas, and more.

CHIMICHURRI

Chimichurri is mostly tied to Argentina, even though other countries also serve the herb-based salsa. To achieve the perfect chimichurri, mix parsley, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil. Pair with meat cuts like churrasco and watch the magic happen.

CHIRMOL

In Central America, chismol or chirmol is made of tomatoes, onion, peppers and other ingredients. It’s similar to pico de gallo and is used in a variety of dishes.

RICANTE

Sauce, dressing, dip, marinade… Ricante does it all and with no sugar or salt added and with just the right amount of approachable spice. Ricante is not only Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Keto Friendly, but tiá approved!

Ricante launched with five incredibly unique hot sauces, marrying non-traditional essences like apples, mangos, carrots, and habaneros.

SALSA ROSA

Pastas are enjoyed all across Latin America, especially in Argentina and Uruguay, which pair the dishes with salsa rosa, a tomato-based sauce mixed with heavy cream. Together, they create a pink paste that blankets a variety of pasta dishes.

TACTICAL TACOS

Wait, so not all taco bases are citrus?! Tactical Tacos knows how to do taco sauce right with their notes of orange, lime, and cilantro to start your bite out just right, followed up with a perfect hint of Jalapeno and Cayenne pepper in the background. That’s just their mild sauce, Snafu. The Fire Fight and Ghost Protocol give you a similar ride with the citrus kick but with a much bigger spice hit for those that are brave enough to try it out!

MOLE

Mole is a spicy-and-sweet sauce made from chocolate that translates. The dark brown sauce gets its heat from chiles, but also has a touch of sweetness from the cacao, almonds, and peanuts often added. The sauce is topped with sesame seeds.

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J Balvin Gets Hot As He Chows Down On Fiery Hot Wings And Spills The Tea On All Things Balvin

Entertainment

J Balvin Gets Hot As He Chows Down On Fiery Hot Wings And Spills The Tea On All Things Balvin

The Prince of Reggaeton and one of the world’s most-streamed artists on both Spotify and YouTube joined the host of First We Feast for a little dish session on all things Balvin. Aside from the joys of watching Balvin devour entirely too spicy foods and salsas, we learn so much about the Colombian artist – and get to meet his dog Enzo.

J Balvin devours spicy AF wings and spills some tea in a new episode of First We Feast. 

Balvin shares how he used to be his own manager and even pretended that he was a totally separate person from J Balvin – Jose. In conversations with record labels and radio stations, he’d hype up J Balvin (as any good manager should do) and would tell those interested in booking the artist that he’d have to check in with him and make sure that his schedule would allow it. 

We learn tons of new things about the Prince of Reggaeton. 

Like apparently his first stage name was nearly Scotch Bonnet, which is a pretty amazing revelation considering it comes during a segment while he piles some Scotch Bonnet hot sauce on chicken. For those of you who don’t know, Scotch Bonnets are one of the world’s hottest chili peppers. Balvin says that his friend, rapper Fat Al, said that he should have a spicy name but Scotch Bonnet never stuck. 

And he shares why he thinks that reggaeton is outpacing the rest of the music industry.

J Balvin credits the meteoric rise of reggaeton thanks to its feel good vibes and its emotional value. He loves to make people vibe and feel something with his music.  He also gives credit where credit is due, pointing out how there are so many artists before him who have paved the way for his success.

Check out the full video here on YouTube.

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