Spicy chilis may do more than make you sweat and run toward the bathroom — they could save your life, CNN reports.
What’s going on: Researchers recently found that eating chili peppers can cut the risk of heart attack and stroke, especially if they’re eaten regularly, according to CNN.
- Researchers discovered risk of death from heart attack was 40% lower among those who ate chili peppers at least four times in one week.
- Death from a stroke was cut in half.
Method: The study reviewed the risk of deaths for 23,000 people. Some of these people ate chilis. Others did not. The researchers reviewed eating habits for eight years.
What they’re saying: Study lead author Marialaura Bonaccio said the chili is what makes the difference.
- Bonaccio: “An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed.”
- 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.”
What helps: Scientists believe it’s capsaicin — a compound in chilis that gave it the spice — that may provide the impact, according to Medical News Today.
- Capsaicin “has been observed to favorably improve cardiovascular function and metabolic regulation in experimental and population studies.”