When it comes to spicy dishes, there are two camps: those who believe the more the better, and those who break out in a sweat just thinking about it. However, according to recent research, people who enjoy spicy foods may live longer.
Spicy Food’s Long-Term Benefits
For ages, food spices have been used for a variety of purposes, including food preservation in the absence of climate-controlled machines, culinary usage merely because it provides a somewhat risky yet delicious experience, and to promote health in a variety of ways.
Capaicin, the chemical responsible for eliciting heat and found mostly in peppers, is connected to the health advantages of spicy meals. And, contrary to common opinion, the seeds are not the primary source of heat, with the greatest capsaicin found in the inner white piths and ribs.
Capsaicin has been demonstrated to reduce hunger, increase metabolism, relieve pain, control arthritic symptoms, regulate blood sugar levels, promote heart health, and slow cancer progression. However, recent studies on the relationship between spicy meals and lifespan is gaining traction.
Longevity and Spicy Foods
In 2015, a study published in the British Journal of Medicine looked into the link between regular use of spicy meals and death in 487,000 Chinese men and women. The relationship was inverse: as the consumption of spicy foods grew, the chance of mortality reduced.
In fact, individuals who ate spicy dishes six or seven times each week had a 14 percent lower chance of mortality! Even eating spicy dishes just two times a week reduced the risk by 10%.
In 2017, researchers observed a lack of accessible studies in the American culture and set out to uncover a link between the use of spicy red chilli peppers and the risk of death.
Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) and included 16,179 eligible people aged 18 and up in the study, which was published in PLoS ONE.
The main predictor was monthly intake of hot red chilli peppers, which was collected from individuals’ replies to the question, “How often did you consume hot red chilli peppers?” “Ground red chilli peppers are not to be counted.”
The overall result showed that eating spicy red chilli peppers reduced total mortality by 13%, with fatalities related to heart disease or stroke accounting for the majority of deaths.
Though the specific mechanism for how spicy meals reduce the chance of mortality is unknown, experts believe capsaicin’s function in obesity prevention and heart health is a potential factor.
Regardless of what remains to be uncovered, researchers believe that eating spicy foods should become a dietary guideline and that further study into its health benefits and lifespan should be conducted.
Spice Up Your Life
How can you spice up your life when there are so many spicy food benefits? With these techniques, you can spice up your kitchen while being safe.
How to Spice Things Up in the Kitchen
- Spicy foods may be added to your repertoire in a variety of ways, from snacks to main courses to desserts.
- Dip bell peppers in hummus for a spicy and filling snack.
- Adding different peppers to soups and chilis.
- Adding jalapenos and/or salsa to tacos.
- Cayenne pepper is used in a variety spicy cuisines, including roasted almonds, beef stew, and chilli.
- Artichoke spinach and roasted red pepper frittata, chicken alfredo with broccoli and peppers, roasted cauliflower and lentils with charred red pepper sauce, salmon with bell pepper coulis, and oven fried catfish with spicy tomato leek sauce are among the nutritionally adequate, ready-prepared meals available from Silver Cuisine.
- Hot honey peanut butter cookies, spicy mango no-churn ice cream, Mexican hot chocolate brownies, and spicy Caribbean pineapple upside-down cake are just a few of the spicy dessert dishes to try.
And don’t give up on the meal just yet if you mistakenly added too much spice! Use the following to restore its integrity:
- To dilute it, use pre-existing components (I.e. if a tortilla soup is too spicy for your liking, try adding more broth, chicken, or beans).
- Milk, yoghurt, and sour cream are examples of dairy products.
- Peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini are examples of nut and seed byproducts.
- Vinegar and citrus juices are acid-based goods.
- A sweetener that comes in a variety of forms, such as granulated sugar, honey, and maple syrup.
- Blander meals to accompany the hot cuisine, such as bread and rice.
Words of Warning
Though the effects differ from person to person, there are a few things to keep in mind when eating and handling capsaicin-containing foods.
Spicy meals can induce indigestion, heartburn, nausea, abdominal discomfort, flaming diarrhoea, and other stomach problems if consumed in large quantities.
Additionally, if interested in the health advantages of capsaicin, it is always wise to consult with your doctor and tread carefully, especially if pregnant, nursing, using certain drugs, or managing a health problem.
Capsaicin can also induce a burning feeling on the skin and other tissues with which it comes into contact, including the eyes. To avoid these unpleasant side effects, wash hands promptly after handling the product to eliminate any residue, as well as any cooking utensils and equipment to prevent capsaicin transmission. When cooking with spicy meals, it’s also a good idea to use plastic gloves.
However, if that searing feeling occurs…
If the spice wasn’t to your liking, there are a couple options for reducing the intensity. While you may be tempted to go for a drink of water, a cold cup of milk has been shown to be the most helpful in alleviating the burning feeling.
A lemon wedge, a tablespoon of sugar, and a slice of bread can also help to relieve the pain.
Vegetable oil, petroleum jelly, and lotions include oils that can alleviate pain when applied externally. Similarly, any clothing that has come into touch with the capsaicin should be removed and washed. If the severity and intensity of the symptoms do not improve, get medical help.