Spicy food linked to longer life

Curry tonight? Study finds that adding extra chilli might lower the risk of an early death.

5th August 2015
Spicy food linked to longer life (iStock)

Fancy a curry tonight? You might want go for something with an extra kick in it after a study finds regular consumption of spicy food can lead to a lower risk of death.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences looked at the link between eating spicy foods as part of a daily diet and the total risk and causes of death.In a study of nearly 500,000 participants, aged between 30-79, it was found that those who ate spicy food almost every day had a 14% lower risk of death than those who ate it only once a week.

Unfortunately, if having a curry is an excuse for going for a beer or two you can’t use dinner’s life-giving properties as an excuse, as it was found that the link between spice and longevity was stronger in those who didn’t drink alcohol.

So should we be eating more chilli? Dr Nita Forouhi of the University of Cambridge warns “it is too early to say, but the debate and the research interest are certainly hotting up,” with the study’s authors themselves acknowledging a cause and effect relation cannot be inferred from their work.

All things considered though, we now know that as well as tasting delicious, spicy food, specifically the active ingredient capsaicin, has anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammation, anticancer properties, and now it looks as if it can help you live a little bit longer. So there is no excuse for not ordering the vindaloo now… is there?

 


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