For many years, chili has been hailed for its therapeutic properties, and now researchers have found that eating chili peppers regularly can cut the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
Carried out in Italy, where chili is a common ingredient, the study compared the risk of death among 23,000 people, some of whom ate chili and some of whom didn’t.
Participants’ health status and eating habits were monitored over eight years, and researchers found that the risk of dying from a heart attack was 40% lower among those eating chili peppers at least four times per week.
Death from stroke was more than halved, according to results published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed. In other words, someone can follow the healthy Mediterranean diet, someone else can eat less healthily, but for all of them chili pepper has a protective effect,
In more recent times, scientists have focused on capsaicin, the compound that gives chili their unmistakable punch. According to the authors of the latest study, capsaicin “has been observed to favorably improve cardiovascular function and metabolic regulation in experimental and population studies.” Other researchers have concluded that capsaicin might be useful in the fight against neuropathic pain, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, and even cancer.