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Science Says People Who Love Spicy Foods Live Longer

Science Says People Who Love Spicy Foods Live Longer

If you’re one of those lovely people who thinks the best food ought give you a cold sweat, then I’ve got great news for you! Science says that you (as long as you’re indulging) will live longer. In fact, if you indulge daily with your favorite nose-faucet on-switch, you can lower your mortality risk by an estimated 14 percent! From just helping your drop a few pounds, to preventing (knock-on-wood) cancer, eating your daily dose of capsaicin has a plethora of effects.

Drop a Few Pounds

Whether it’s your favorite spicy soup dumpling or traveling halfway across the world for the slow burning sweet chili heat of a Ddeokbokki, eating your favorite chili rich foods (or just dropping a few chilies into your regular diet) will help you drop a few of the ol’ L-Bs. It’s a super healthy side effect that can aid an already healthy diet. This works when capsaicin increases the amount of saliva and gastrointestinal juices. This can aid in digestion, increase your heart-rate, and improve overall circulation. This combination of effects super-boost your metabolism and lengthen your life. Not only that, but people consume about 75 fewer calories after eating red chili peppers compared to bland food (this is only true if it’s a new thing) and it can reduce cravings for fatty, salty, or sweet foods.

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They can even increase the number and activity of brown fat cells (which are crazy awesome good for you!). Be glad you turned up the heat on dinner tonight, because brown fat will burn out all of the ordinary fat. It used to be thought that brown fat was only in infants and hibernating mammals, but after some CT scans of full grown adults, there are pockets of brown fat spread throughout the body. They fire up layers of fat, and keep us warm. If you want to start burning calories like a tiny furnace, try a high carb, low fat diet full of spices of course!

Prevent the Dreaded C-Word

Cancer. The C-word is cancer. Eating chili peppers can reduce your risk of cancer. Pour on that sriracha sauce and keep the spice coming, because the active ingredient in peppers will literally make tumor cells commit suicide. If you want cancer cells in your body to commit harakiri, try laying up habanero peppers on top of pasta, no oil, all carby spicy deliciousness, cancer killing nonsense (and firing up the brown fat in your body).  It’s been known for about a decade to kill prostate cancer cells (and slow the growth of tumors by about 80 percent).

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By lodging in the membrane of cancer cells, capsaicin will cause the membrane to come apart and the cancer cell will die off. But to meet the huge quantities known to kill other cancer cells in mice you would have to eat HUGE amounts of peppers, so it’s great as a preventative measure, but not as a treatment. Remember that the next time someone snaps at you for drowning your food in hot sauce, you’re not only staying lean, your preventing cancer. You are winning at life by eating like you really want!

NOT DYING.

Not dying is the best benefit of all. Reducing your risk of heart disease, cancer, lowering blood pressure, anger levels, and losing flab all add up, and give people who eat chilies between 3-7 days a week a 14 percent lowered mortality risk. That’s a big number when talking about a larger population of people, and that’s a big difference for individuals, even quitting smoking only sees a 36 percent lowered mortality risk as compared to continued heavy smoking. Aren’t you glad you ordered extra hot on your curry last night?

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We all love not dying, but what are you going to do with your extra time alive? Exploring the spiciest wasabi farms in Japan, or losing your luggage in Burma (where the national dish is a pile of chilies and cheese). You are a chili eating champion, who treats pepper like any other vegetable on the table, and has such hot fire breathe, you could compete with a dragon. Enjoy your time, because your favorite snack is helping you not die (or at least a 14 percent less chance of dying).

Peppers are amazing for you. They make you slim, reduce your risk of cancer, and help you not die (and possibly become immortal and ride a unicorn into the clouds). It hasn’t been dis-proven yet. Slim, hot, cancer free you can ride into the future on a sriracha cloud of dreams.

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Featured photo credit: Adam Baker via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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