When it comes to food, do you find yourself wishing your meal had just a bit more flavor? Do you even go so far as to have your own little bottle of Sriracha sauce with you for when the restaurant or your friend doesn’t have any on hand?
Surprisingly, your taste buds have helped you stumble onto something big. Like, longer lifespan big.
Researchers at the University of Vermont have conducted a study over the last 23 years with more than 16,000 participants that found consumption of red hot chili peppers decreases the rate of total mortality up to 13%. Specifically, they found reduced heart disease and stroke-related deaths in the 16,000 people they studied.
Ironically, participants in this study that ate red chili peppers were found to consume more alcohol and smoke more cigarettes than the average person, yet lived longer than those that had comparable alcohol and tobacco consumption.
Their research also found that, on average, those who consume Sriracha or other spicy foods are younger men of Mexican-American descent. They also consumed more vegetables and meats on average than those who do not consume spicy foods.
But before you get excited and start dousing all of your food with Sriracha and start drinking more alcohol, researchers have not been able to firmly link spicy food consumption and a longer lifespan. What they have found is that all spicy foods have a chemical called capsaicin. They believe capsaicin helps prevent obesity and increase blood flow in the heart and arteries.
So what about you? Are you a big fan of spicy foods or Sriracha sauce? If you are, great! You’ve found a way to enhance the taste of your food while prolonging your life. If you are not a big fan of spicy foods, would this research possibly sway you to incorporate more spices into your diet?