Big news, Sriracha fans: Spicing up your meals with chili peppers can not only aid weight loss but also help you live longer.
To come to this finding, researchers performed medical exams on 485,000 research participants and analyzed their diets for more than seven years. After controlling for a number of factors including family medical history, age, diabetes and smoking, the researchers found that participants who consumed hot and spicy food once or twice a week had a 10 percent reduced risk for death compared to those who shied away from savoring spicy food once a week. And people who turned up the heat six or seven times a week had a 14 percent lower risk of death. The correlation between spicy food consumption and decreased risk of mortality was even stronger in those who don't drink alcohol. Capsaicin, the ingredient that gives chili peppers their metabolism-boosting fire, is likely to thank for its life-lengthening properties, according to the recent BMJ study.
"We need more evidence, especially from clinical trials, to further verify these findings, and we are looking forward to seeing data from other populations," study co-author Dr. Lu Qi, an associate professor of nutrition at the Harvard, said in a statement. In the meantime, go ahead and add a dash of hot sauce to your omelets or whip up a spicy chili — it can only benefit your health and waistline.