Spicy foods may help you live longer

Eating spicy foods may help you live longer as it may lower your risk of death from different conditions. Spices have been part of the food cultures around the world and have been used for long to add flavour or color to the food, as well as for medicinal purposes. A very recent research published in The BMJ, found that people who regularly ate spicy foods had a lower risk of death from cancer, heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.

While many other studies have shown the health benefits of spices such as red pepper, others have demonstrated that certain agents in spices such as capsaicin can have beneficial effects in conditions such as overweight and obesity or cardiovascular disease. Other studies show that spices have also antibacterial activity which acts on the gut flora, reducing risks of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver cirrhosis, and cancer.

In the study, researchers asked almost 500,000 people in China how often they ate hot, spicy foods. The participants were aged 30 to 79 when the study started, and the researchers followed up with them for about seven years.

Participants who ate spicy foods once or twice a week were at a 10% reduced risk of dying compared with participants who ate spicy foods less than once a week, , according to the study published in the journal The BMJ.

Frequent consumption of spicy foods was also associated with a lower risk of death from cancer, ischemic heart disease and respiratory system diseases. This reduced risk was more prominent among female participants than male participants. However, the research study is only observational and more research is needed to confirm the link, experts say....