Chilies have been hailed for their therapeutic properties for many years, and now researchers have found that eating chili peppers regularly can cut the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
The study carried out in Italy compared the risk of death among 23,000 people, some of whom ate chili and some of whom didn't.
Participants' health status and eating habits were monitored over eight years, and researchers found that the risk of dying from a heart attack was 40% lower among those eating chili peppers at least four times per week.
Death from stroke was more than halved, according to results published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
"An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed," said study lead author Marialaura Bonaccio.
"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," she said.
External experts praised the study while pointing out some limitations saying that there can be a dietary difference between people who eat chili and those who don’t and that might be a reason for the attributed benefits.
The research team now plans to investigate the biochemical mechanisms that make chili good for our health and to see if any other factor was involved in the study results.
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