A team of Chinese researchers has established that spicy, peppery food is recommended for your body – not only for you to experience the burning, stimulating sensations on your tongue, but largely because it could prolong your days on earth.
Thousands of human generations have always used chili pepper in their foods since the dawn of time – and for various reasons too, but researchers now say there is a link between consuming spicy pepper in your food and increased chances for longer, healthier life.
Down the ages, people have always used pepper in their meals for various reasons. Some use it to preserve their food, others for its flavor in spicing up or seasoning food, and yet others for its burning and numbing sensation in the throat.
But beyond these, medical researchers found out that pepper contains healing properties, and its medicinal chemical “capsaicin” which gives it its burning, spicy taste actually reduces inflammations, clears the respiratory tract, and lowers risks of infections and diseases in individuals.
Researchers examined about 487,375 individuals aged 30-79 years between 2004 and 2008 to prove if chili pepper has any health benefits. After seven years of tracking the volunteers, the researchers noted that people who consumed spicy foods always had 14% reduced chances of dying within the study period, while those who ate spicy foods seasoned with chili pepper once or twice a week had 10% lower risks of dying compared with people that don’t eat spicy meals.
Explaining that the benefits of consuming pepper have a “profound influence” on people’s health, the authors of the study observed that it lowers heart and respiratory disease in women, as well as cuts the risks of developing cancer.
But then health experts warn that more studies need to be done to establish the link between spicy food and a longer life-span.
“Should people eat spicy food?” wrote Dr. Nita Forouh of the University of Cambridge in an editorial that accompanied the study. “It is too early to say, but the debate and the research interest are certainly heating up,” she noted.
Whether consuming spicy foods peppered with chili prolongs human life or not, the truth remains that the burning sensation of pepper in the mouth is exhilarating, and its seasoning value makes local meals tastier to the palate. And that is enough reason to go for a spicy food today and always.