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The secret to living longer may be found in spicy food

If you thought the secret to long life was kale and vitamin C, you were all wrong. It’s in spicy food. And we all can rejoice while we chow down on hot peppers all day long. Woo-hoo!

A study has shown that spicy food and their active components — like capsaicin, the compound found in chili peppers — might lower inflammation, improve metabolic status and have a positive effect on gut bacteria and weight. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t.

As the study went on to look at humans who lived their lives with spicy foods, it got even more intriguing. Eating spicy foods once or twice a week (compared to less often) decreased the risk of death by 10 percent, according to the findings. And while eating more spicy food — say, three to seven times a week — made only a nominal difference, the results still seem to suggest that spicy food might be a real lifesaver.

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Additionally, chili seems to reduce the rates of cancer, ischemic heart diseases and respiratory diseases. Fresh chili seems to be stronger than any other kind.

This is a study I can get behind. OK, so it still needs work to prove the causal effect (there is always a catch), but this confirms what I have believed for years. As a lover of spice (the hotter, the better!), I have always believed in the power of chili. It improves the mood and clears the skin and keeps your sinuses free and clear.

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Does it surprise me that it saves lives too? Not at all. So let’s all make a pact to ask for level-10 chicken wings and add hot chili to our pizza and spaghetti and everything in between. Our bodies need it. And now we know that for sure.

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