Spicy Food Lovers Have Reason To Celebrate As New Study Says Eating Chilies Could Be Secret To Longevity

Chilies have been hailed as a holy grail food by many for its flavor and mythic health properties. Now, researchers have found that consuming chilies as a part of your regular diet can lower the risk of death from a wide variety of illnesses and diseases.

New research shows that chilies provide a protective effect against a variety of diseases.

If you’r the type of person that piles on loads of salsa on pretty much everything you eat, then you may have reason to celebrate. According to a new study, regularly eating chili peppers could provide previously unrecognized health benefits that help to lengthen people’s lives.

Chili eaters may have a “significantly reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer”, according to preliminary research which will be presented this week at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020. 

While previous research has found consuming chilies has an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer and blood-glucose regulating effect due to capsaicin – which gives chilies their characteristic hot taste, the study is the first large scale effort to compare reported consumption of chili with disease mortality.

Researches drew evidence from a wide range of study participants which really helps illustrate how important chilies could be.

Unlikes previous studies, researchers screened 4,729 studies from five leading global health databases, these were: Ovid, Cochrane, Medline, Embase and Scopus. These included four large studies which specifically included health outcomes for participants with data on chili pepper consumption.

This provided the research team with the health and dietary records of more than half a million people across four countries: the United States, Italy, China and Iran, which allowed them to compare the outcomes of those who consumed chilies to those who rarely or never ate them. 

Compared to those who “rarely” or “never” ate chilies, the analysis found people who did eat them had:

  • a 26 per cent relative reduction in cardiovascular mortality
  • a 23 per cent relative reduction in cancer mortality
  • a 25 per cent relative reduction in all-cause mortality

A similar study from last year found very similar results.

Carried out in Italy, where chili is a common ingredient, the study compared the risk of death among 23,000 people, some of whom ate chili and some of whom didn’t. Participants’ health status and eating habits were monitored over eight years, and researchers found that the risk of dying from a heart attack was 40% lower among those eating chili peppers at least four times per week.

Death from stroke was more than halved, according to results published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

“An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed,” said study lead author Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute (Neuromed).

“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,” she said.

And eat up – because if science is right, our beloved chilies and tomatoes are going extinct.

Two of Latin America’s most important ingredients – staples of cuisines across the region – are in danger of possible extinction thanks to climate change. Tomatoes and chilies both make up a huge part of traditional recipes from Mexico to Brazil and Argentina to Cuba – and they’re close to disappearing from grocery stores everywhere.

Climate change is wreaking havoc on the planet. But one of the most at-risk species is the humble bumble bee. These often feared insects are a vital source of pollination for thousands of plant and flower species around the world – if they disappear so too do the species of plants that depend on them.

Pollinators are species of great importance for a healthy environment. They are responsible for the the diversity and health of various biomes. Across Latin America, the bumble bee is largely responsible for the pollination of modern agriculture and this could have a major impact on the production of tomatoes and chilis. Unfortunately, bumblebees are currently threatened, resulting in the possible extinction of different vegetables, including tomatoes and chili.

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