There’s a fierce competition happening at your favorite wing joint. According to studies, many Americans are starting to stray away from eating the usual fare and are now embracing the consumption of spicier ethnic foods such as Asian and Mexican cuisine. According to a 2013 Consumer Flavor Trend Report, majority of Americans (about 54%) now prefer to eat hot or spicy food items, including those hot sauces, condiments, and dips; values that are significantly higher than the 2011 report of 48% and 2009 report at 46%/. A report released in China reveals that this new trend in American eating habit can actually prolong American lifespans altogether.
In addition, researchers discovered the relationship between spicy foods and longevity. After thorough evaluation of a survey among half a million Chinese citizens taken between 2004 and 2008, results reveal direct correlation between diet and longevity. In the survey, people were questioned about their dietary habits, including the amount of chili they consume on a regular basis. When researchers checked back in with the respondents seven years later, they discovered that those who consumed spicy food items at least once a week had 10 percent lesser chance of mortality. Additionally, those who ate spicy food items at least 3 to 7 times a week revealed a 14% lesser chance of dying prematurely.
According to Lu Wi, associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, there are undoubtedly beneficial effects to eating spicy foods as evidenced by positive results from animal studies and small-scale human studies.
Studies reveal that capsaicin, an active ingredient uniquely found in spicy foods can be linked to lower risk of cancer development as well as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In addition, spicy foods have positive effect on weight, gut flora, and metabolism to name a few.
It appears that increasing your intake of spicy foods to two to three times a week can have positive beneficial effect on health. Moderate increase in consumption is more than enough to reap positive effects from capsaicin. Make sure to mix spicy food items with health food choices. Remember that eating too much greasy food, such as that of a dozen wings, will cancel out the positive effects delivered by chili.