Food & Beverage Perspectives
Eating Spicy Foods Helps You Live Longer

Eating Spicy Foods Helps You Live Longer

People who eat spicy foods nearly every day have a 14-percent lower risk of death compared with those who consume spicy foods less than once a week. What’s more, regular spicy food eaters are also less likely to die from cancer, heart, and respiratory diseases than those who eat spicy foods infrequently.

Americans are exploring bolder flavors and more culturally diverse foods which is opening the door to more innovation around ethnic foods. In fact, Food Product Design has been following the hot and spicy trail for the past few years and accurately predicted hot and spicy will remain on the menu for 2015.

Now, a new study from researchers at the department of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston has found a positive association between spicy food intake and mortality. People who eat spicy foods nearly every day have a 14-percent lower risk of death compared with those who consume spicy foods less than once a week. What’s more, regular spicy food eaters are also less likely to die from cancer, heart, and respiratory diseases than those who eat spicy foods infrequently.

According to the study published online in BMJ, results showed regular consumption of spicy food was linked to lowered mortality among both men and women after adjustment for other known or potential risk factors. Researchers found the association was stronger in people who did not drink alcohol than in those who drank. Fresh and dried chile peppers were the most commonly used spices reported by the Chinese study population. Capsaicin and other bioactive ingredients in chili peppers have been found in previous studies to have anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammation, and anti-cancer properties, but the authors caution that more research is needed to determine if there is a direct link between these ingredients and lowered risk of death.

Interested in finding out more about how flavors are influenced by emerging global cuisines and evolving consumer preferences? Download the Food Product Design’s “Survival Guide: Flavors" Digital Issue that includes market data offering a big-picture view of flavors use, as well as consumer perception of the ingredients; current cuisine trends, including demand for authentic flavor in ethnic-inspired dishes; and a comprehensive directory of suppliers offering flavors for the food and beverage industries.

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