Spice It Up: Chili Peppers Help Reduce Risk of Death
– from heart attack, stroke and other causes
Regularly eating chili peppers helps reduce your risk of death from heart attack, stroke and other causes. This is the conclusion of Italian researchers after examining the diets of nearly 23,000 adults in the Molise region in southern Italy over the course of eight years.
The researchers found that those who ate chili peppers four or more times a week were more than 50 percent less likely to die from stroke compared to those who rarely ate or did not eat chili peppers at all. Moreover, the regular chili eaters were 40 percent and 23 percent less likely to die from heart attack and other causes, respectively. Participants who did not follow a Mediterranean diet but regularly ate chili peppers were also less likely to die from those causes.
As a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, a standard Mediterranean diet commonly incorporates chili pepper. But as the study showed, you don’t need to follow the Mediterranean diet to experience the protective effect of chilis.
“Someone can follow the healthy Mediterranean diet, someone else can eat less healthily, but for all of them chili pepper has a protective effect,” said Dr. Licia Iacoviello, one of the study authors.
Why are chili peppers good for your health?
Many of the health benefits of chili peppers are attributed to capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers spicy. Capsaicin improves health in many ways. Take a look at the following: (h/t to VeryWellFit.com)
- Boosts heart health – Studies show that capsaicin helps treat and prevent coronary heart disease in people with low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is beneficial to your heart because it lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Fights inflammation – Antioxidant-rich foods like chili peppers help combat harmful free radicals, which can otherwise cause chronic inflammation and increase your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
- Fights diabetes – Research shows that taking capsaicin supplements improves the insulin response of women with gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women.
- Boosts metabolism – Studies involving overweight and obese individuals suggest that consuming capsaicin and other capsaicinoids helps the body burn more fat.
- Promotes weight loss – Besides burning more fat, studies show that consuming two milligrams of capsaicin before a meal can also make you eat less.
- Relieves pain – When applied topically or via injection, capsaicin can soothe nerve and arthritis pain. Researchers attribute this analgesic effect to capsaicin’s ability to activate a receptor that decreases your pain sensitivity.
Heart-healthy chili pepper recipe
Try the following tailgate chili recipe to improve your heart health and prevent premature death. Besides chili peppers, this easy-to-do recipe also incorporates other superfoods like garlic and cumin, both of which protect your heart from disease.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 1 pound ground white meat chicken (or turkey)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium jalapeno, chopped
- 4 cloves minced fresh garlic (or 2 teaspoons charred, minced garlic)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 15.5 ounces pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 14.5 ounces tomatoes, diced and undrained
- 3/4 cup jarred salsa, salt-free or low-sodium
- Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray. Cook the chicken and onion over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly to break up the meat.
- Transfer the chicken to a colander and rinse with water to drain excess fat. Return the chicken to the pan.
- Stir in the bell pepper, garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- For added flavor and nutrients, top with sliced avocado, snipped cilantro, chopped green onions, low-fat grated cheese or a dollop of fat-free sour cream.
Chili peppers are superfoods that increase longevity and help reduce your risk of death from various conditions, such as heart attack and stroke. Eat more chili peppers as part of a balanced diet to stay healthy.
By Brocky Wilson
For full references please use source link below.
(Source: food.news; May 4, 2021; https://tinyurl.com/ybb6vnsa)
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