There is good news for lovers of chili peppers – they can help you live longer. Researchers from the University of Vermont in the US discovered that capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot red chili peppers, may boost the metabolism, strengthen the heart and help with blood pressure and obesity. People who regularly ate them had a 13 per cent reduced risk of dying younger compared with those who did not. Researchers concluded that: "The consumption of hot red chili pepper was associated with reduced mortality. Hot red chili peppers may be a beneficial component of the diet."
The researchers surveyed 16,179 adults over six years. People answered questions on their health, lifestyle, income and eating habits. The researchers analysed the deaths in the 18 years after the survey. Of the 4,946 participants who died, 21.6% regularly ate chili compared with 33.6% who did not. The researchers thus said hot red chili peppers helped to prolong life. Britain's health service urged people not to rely on one "superfood" like chili. It said: "Eat a balanced diet high in a variety of fruit and vegetables, limit salt, sugar and saturated fat, stay active [and] avoid smoking."