The Secret to Long Life Is Eating This Type of Food

by Dana Covit

PHOTO: Claire Thomas

More good news on the tasty-food-is-healthy-food front! A seven-year study, published in the BMJ this week, suggests a link between consuming spicy foods often and longevity, as well as lower rates of ischemic heart disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and cancer.

The study tracked 500,000 people aged 35 to 79 from geographically diverse areas across China over the course of roughly seven years. Researchers found that those who consumed spicy foods one or two days a week had a 10% reduced risk of death compared with those who ate spicy meals less than once a week. The risk was even lower for those who ate spicy food between three and seven days a week. Chilli pepper, a popular spicy food in China, was the most commonly used spice, and it was found that those who consumed fresh chilli tended to benefit more than those consuming dried varieties.

Spice enthusiasts everywhere have long relished in the potential health benefits of chilis and their bioactive compound capsaicin, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting properties. Pass the hot sauce, please!

Scroll to check out four recipes that pack the heat.

Spicy Albondigas Soup

This Mexican-inspired albondigas soup has just the right amount of heat.

Spicy Chicken Soup

PHOTO: Crockpot Gourmet

Bonus: This spicy chicken soup is easy to prepare.

Green Onion, Cheddar, and Jalapeño Doughnuts

PHOTO: Claire Thomas

Yes, these jalapeño doughnuts are the bee’s knees.

Spicy Maria Cocktail

PHOTO: Claire Thomas

When in doubt, imbibe your spice.

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