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Spice of Life

Have you ever eaten anything spicy? Something that makes your nose burn and your eyes water? Would you eat more spicy foods if I told you that they are actually good for your health? According to Lu Qi, MD, PhD, a professor at Harvard Medical school, they are. In fact, “if you eat more spicy food, it’s better for your health and lowers the risk for mortality, especially as it relates to cancer and heart disease.

Participants who ate spicy foods such as chili peppers once or twice a week were 10 percent less likely to die during the study period compared to those who ate such foods less than once a week. Eating spicy foods on a near-daily basis lowered the risk further.

Fresh chili peppers were specifically linked to lower risks of dying of cancer, heart disease, or Type 2 diabetes. Compounds in peppers have been shown to fight inflammation.

Peppers are also good sources of cancer-fighting vitamin C.