Eating chili peppers makes life longer, not just hotter

Chilly peppers: hate them or love ’em. Few could have imagined the impact of Columbus’ discovery of a spice in the XXVth century so pungent that it rivaled the better known black pepper native to South Asia. In only a couple of years ago, the red chilly was planted all over the globe after being brought from South and Central America. Today, it’s one of the most widely used spices in the world. But is chilly actually healthy? Many studies seem to contradict one another, so the debate is far from over. Some scientists claim chilly acts against cancer and helps us stay healthy, but at the same time chilly can hurt the inside of the stomach and esophagus and can even lead to internal bleeding. All foods have their good and bad sides, though, so probably people are more interested in the net effects of ingesting a certain food, chilly or otherwise – doesn’t matter. And finally, there’s a study that seems to suggest that, overall, chilly is our friend. That’s according to Chinese researchers who tracked the eating and health habits of 500,000 individuals and found those who ingested chilly at least two times a week had a mortality rate 10% lower than those who only seldom ate chilly or not at all. Those who ate the devilish spice six or seven days a week had an even lower risk of dying.