If you weren’t already aware, the chili pepper is here to save the day. According to studies, eating chili peppers can prevent fatal heart attacks and strokes. Chili peppers have been known for their therapeutic properties for years now, and now researchers have found that eating chili peppers regularly can cut the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
This research was carried out in Italy, of course. Chili peppers are no stranger to their cuisine, and the study compared the risk of death among 23,000 people, some of whom ate chili peppers and some of whom didn’t. The study involved both men and women. The group that was eating chili peppers was eating them more than four times a week. The group that was not eating chili peppers continued a diet without the peppers. The group that had chili peppers regularly were 44% less likely to have died of ischemic heart disease such as heart attacks compared to those who did not regularly eat any chili peppers. Not only this, but the chili pepper eating group was also 61% less likely to have died of cerebrovascular disease such as strokes. The study lead author Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute (Neuromed), had something to say regarding the research. She said “An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed. In other words, someone can follow the healthy Mediterranean diet, someone else can eat less healthily, but for all of them chili pepper has a protective effect.”
These effects seem legitimate and life-saving. However, external experts praised the study, but also expressed some limitations. The team on this research now plans to investigate the biochemical mechanisms that make chili peppers good for our health. Duane Mellor, a registered dietitian, said the research is “interesting” but “does not show a causal link” between chili peppers consumption and health benefits. Although, many nutritional studies such as this one are observational. Because of this, it cannot completely prove cause-and-effect and can only show associations or correlations. This meaning that those who are eating the chili peppers more than 4 times a week may lead very different lives than those who do not eat chili peppers, and this also has an effect their overall health.
Basically, before you go stuffing your face with chili peppers, remember the old saying “everything in moderation.” Chili peppers definitely help, but it also depends on your overall healthy diet and exercise. But I think research says enough that maybe, “a chili pepper a day keeps the doctor away.”