Did you know that eating chili regularly may help you live longer? Therefore, everyone should try to add some chili peppers into one’s diet.
Not only does chili peppers turn an ordinary or even boring meal into a mouthwatering treat, but, consuming a large amount of the spice could help you live a longer and healthier life.
The fruit of the Capsicum genus is a popular spice that originated from Mexico. This spread across the world after European traders brought back samples during the 16th century. Currently, it is added to all kinds of dishes.
Traditional medicinal systems use spices and peppers to treat various kinds of diseases. The flavorful food ingredients were believed to provide the necessary nourishment to the body, therefore extending the life of the one who consumed them.
Various modern-day studies have investigated the health benefits of consuming spices such as chili pepper. Spices and peppers were reported to contain various chemical compounds that contain various beneficial properties, inluding anti-microbial and antioxidant properties.
But, only a research in 2015 considered the chili pepper in the light of longevity. Chinese scientists claimed that consumption of large numbers of spicy peppers decreased the chances of an early death, which means to more people living longer lives. (Related: Study Finds that Chili Pepper Compound Can Stop Breast Cancer).
Live Longer by Consuming Chili Peppers
The University of Vermont (UVM) followed up on the study findings of the Chinese study. It have reviewed the data from a national survey of comprising more than 16,000 Americans who voluntarily underwent observation of their lifestyle and health for as long as 23 years.
The study participants were grouped together based on the amount of chili peppers they consumed. The baseline characteristics of each group were compared and examined.
Participants who consumed chili peppers turned out to be younger people of the male gender, either Mexican American or white, and married. They were not well-educated and came from low-income brackets. Also, they displayed lower levels of HDL cholesterol.
The UVM researchers placed their attention to the state of the study participants’ health 19 years later. After recording the number of deaths that had taken place over the follow-up, the researchers looked at the particular reason as to why a participant died.
The researchers made the same discovery as the Chinese research team from 5 years ago: People who consumed chili peppers lived longer lives. Also, the spicier the food, the longer their health and lives lasted.
Capsaicin: The Compound That Makes Chili Pepper Healthy and Hot
The researchers are not yet sure exactly how chili pepper may help in preventing early deaths. But, they made a good guess that it has something to do with Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels.
TRP channels are the main biological receptors for the pungent agents which gave spicy foods their hot flavor. In chili peppers, the main pungent agent is known as capsaicin.
The amount of capsaicin in chili pepper determines its spiciness. Since, the UVM experiment reported that a spicier diet led to a longer lifespan, it stood to reason that capsaicin is the one responsible for this health benefit.
Many studies have suggested that capsaicin works through the molecular and cellular means by which the body controls lipids, and the flow of blood from the heart. By boosting the efficiency of these natural processes, this can help prevent the onset of obesity, while also reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Also, capsaicin is known to kill harmful microorganisms. This anti-microbial effect could be targeting the bad bacteria that have gotten into the guts of human.
“Because the study conducted adds to the generalize ability of previous research findings, chili pepper, or even the consumption of spicy food may become a dietary recommendation or/and fuel the added research in the form of clinical trials,” as per the conclusion of UVM researcher Mustafa Chofan.
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