If you're a lover of spicy food, this news is going to make your day. A new study published in the BMJ, one of the world's oldest medical journals, says eating spicy food can help you live longer. The researchers who conducted the study analyzed a group of about 500,000 adults in China between 2004 and 2008 and then followed up about seven years later. Of course, many factors were taken into consideration, including alcohol consumption, physical activity, and intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, but the overall result was that people who ate spicy foods more often saw a reduced risk of death.
The official conclusion reads, "In this large prospective study, the habitual consumption of spicy foods was inversely associated with total and certain cause specific mortality, independent of other risk factors of death." In other words, spicy food totally affected these people's lives for the better. Specifically, "compared to participants who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who consumed spicy foods six or seven days a week showed a 14 percent relative risk reduction in total mortality."
As for what exactly you should eat if you're aiming to reap all the benefits of spicy foods, the study notes that fresh foods, like fresh chili peppers, are better choices than nonfresh foods, such as chili sauce or dried peppers. "Fresh chili pepper is richer in bioactive ingredients, including capsaicin, vitamin C, and other nutrients such as vitamin A, K, and B6, and potassium," the study adds.
We already knew that spicy food boosts metabolism and can aid in weight loss, so this news only gives us more of a craving for healthy spicy foods like shakshuka (pictured above), spicy sweet potato salad, and spicy chicken chili.