Eat all the curry you want, as a new study has claimed that eating spices regularly may be linked to lower death risk, making you live longer.
Previous research had suggested that beneficial effects of spices and their bioactive ingredient, capsaicin, include anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammation and anticancer properties, and an international team led by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences examined the association between consumption of spicy foods as part of a daily diet and the total risk and causes of death.
The observational study undertook 487,375 participants, aged 30-79 years, who completed a questionnaire about their general health, physical measurements, and consumption of spicy foods, and red meat, vegetable and alcohol.
Participants with a history of cancer, heart disease, and stroke were excluded from the study, and factors such as age, marital status, level of education, and physical activity were accounted for.
During a median follow-up of 7.2 years, there were 20,224 deaths.
Participants who ate spicy foods almost every day had a relative 14 percent lower risk of death compared to those who consumed spicy foods less than once a week.
The association was similar in both men and women, and was stronger in those who did not consume alcohol.
Frequent consumption of spicy foods was also linked to a lower risk of death from cancer, and ischaemic heart and respiratory system diseases, and this was more evident in women than men.
Fresh and dried chilli peppers were the most commonly used spices in those who reported eating spicy foods weekly, and further analysis showed those who consumed fresh chilli tended to have a lower risk of death from cancer, ischaemic heart disease, and diabetes.
The authors call for more research that may “lead to updated dietary recommendations and development of functional foods.”