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The Science Behind Spicy Food Boosting Longevity

The Science Behind Spicy Food Boosting Longevity

Next time you suggest Indian food for dinner and your friends vote for burgers, you can tell them that science says spicy food will save their lives. Well, at least it’ll help them live longer and healthier.

Of course, we’re not talking about Flamin’ Cheetos here, nor force-feeding yourself a double serving of nuclear-level spicy buffalo wings. This should not, by any means, be understood as the path to health and wellness.

But according to this much quoted study from the BMJ people who ate food spiced with dried or fresh chili peppers, specifically on a consistent basis, lived longer and with fewer ailments than those who did not.

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What’s the connection?

Lower Cancer Risk and a Healthier Heart

There is a lot of research out there finding strong connections between capsaicin, a major bioactive ingredient in chili powder, and a lower cancer risk, decreased gastro-intestinal complications, and better cardiovascular health. These studies credit the far-reaching anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin as one of the reasons behind the remarkable benefits spicy food can offer the body.

Balanced Gut and Blood Sugar Levels

These spices have a powerful affect on the microbiome and gut flora as well, and have been shown to lower the risk of metabolic syndrome and even diabetes, as they help to improve glucose homeostasis.

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That is, it balances out your internal ecosystem in a way that helps your body to more readily deal with breaking down foods and distributing sugar at a normal level. It’s when you’re out of whack that you develop problems like insulin resistance or diabetes.

Prevents Weight Gain and Promotes Weight Loss

Another way spicy food could be linked to longevity is in the fact that it actually deceases appetite and can therefore lower the risk for obesity, and the many complications that can arise from obesity.

Spicy food has also been credited with helping weight loss in two ways:

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  • Pain relief – making exercise and recovery from injuries easier.
  • Metabolism increase – kicking your fat-burning abilities up a notch.

So, overall, spicy food can help battle the numerous complications associated with obesity, both before it becomes a problem, and also afterwards.

Boosts The Immune System and Fights Infection

The BMJ study also noted that increased consumption of spicy foods like chili powder lowers the risk of death due to infections in women. This is backed by many other studies that associate the consumption of capsaicin with improved physical health; this also connects with its capacity to assist in halting bacterial growth.

Study Limitations

The BMJ study, which received so much buzz, noted some of its own limitations. For example, it acknowledged that it didn’t delve into the other factors that could have affected longevity, such as the further lifestyle habits of participants, as noted in this article on the study by CNN.

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Cooking methods and other possible variables which could change the composition and breakdown of the spices, also could have made a difference in the connections drawn between highly spiced foods and lower death rates.

Moreover, BMJ acknowledged that it was a controlled, observational study that took place within a single culture (China). Hence the results could vary if the study was transferred to another environment.

The Facts Remain

But all-in-all, there seem to be clear connections between foods spiced with chili powder and positive health benefits.This validation transforms these ideas from old wives tales into reputable facts.

People have enjoyed food spiced with these healing and balancing ingredients for ages- and for good reason! The benefits of these ancient herbs are profound. The scientific world has taken interest in these powerhouses of health and have taken on the task of monitoring and measuring their benefits.

Of course, there’s no reason to put yourself in pain to reap rewards. There’s no evidence to suggest that hotter necessarily equals healthier. Just a little extra spice can go a long way in boosting the flavor profile on your plate- and potentially, the vibrancy and length of your life.

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Hannah Glenn

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Last Updated on July 5, 2019

5 Reasons Why You Should Always Be Yourself

5 Reasons Why You Should Always Be Yourself

When it comes to being yourself, there can be a lot of pressure from the outside world as it tries to influence who you are. Living in a society that is constantly developing, it’s important for you to always be yourself from the inside out. When you deeply know yourself and the boundaries that you have set, you are more likely to experience a fulfilling and rewarding life. Without knowing yourself and establishing those boundaries, you can easily be pushed around and end up on a dirt path.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” – Matthew 7:13-14

You have the option of taking the path that is broad or taking the path that is narrow. You can either conform to what life wants you to be, or have the courage to remain true to yourself throughout the years. It’s definitely a challenge to have a strong sense of self when we are constantly getting distracted and being influenced by the media and society’s way of life. But if you want to reach your fullest potential in life, it all starts with being yourself.

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Why should you always be yourself?

Because you will:

  1. Live in alignment with your values and beliefs. Being yourself is all about knowing what you believe in and the values that you live by. When you are not yourself, you will take on the values and beliefs of others. This is when you start conforming to other people’s expectations and way of thinking. When you know your values and why you do what you do, you will live according to your own values and beliefs.
  2. Establish your own identity. When you are able to have a solid foundation of being you, you are establishing your own sense of identity. No matter what happens in your life, you will always know who you are. There will be times where you may feel lost or distracted, but if you have your own identity you’ll be able to get back on the right path. Without establishing your own identity, you may easily conform and lose yourself.
  3. Build courage. It takes a great amount of courage when you decide to take the path that goes against the crowd. The reason why the majority of people take the broad path is because it’s easy. It’s easy to just follow the crowd. It’s more of a challenge when you stay true to yourself and establish your own identity. This challenge of always being yourself takes courage and inner strength. No matter what comes your way, you’ll know how to handle it.
  4. Establish boundaries. When you are always yourself, you know what your limits are and the boundaries that you have set for yourself. When people cross your boundaries, you will know. But if you don’t establish boundaries, people may very well walk all over you and take advantage of you. If you are always yourself and you establish boundaries, you are more likely to be aware when people start taking advantage of you. Create and establish your boundaries.
  5. Find focus and direction. When you are always yourself, you are more likely to have focus and direction in your life. Imagine someone who is constantly conforming to other people’s expectations. Do you think this person has focus and direction? I don’t think so. When you stay true to who you are, you are more likely to know the goals you want to accomplish and how to go about accomplishing them. You are able to stay focused and know which direction to take in order for you to accomplish your goals.

No matter what you experience in life, the only person that will always remain constant is you.

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Featured photo credit: María Victoria Heredia Reyes via unsplash.com

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