The Connection Between Chili Peppers & Better Heart Health

Sure, chili peppers taste great

But it turns out eating hot peppers can also help your heart. That’s because chili peppers seem to have a connection to better heart health. That’s, of course, good news for your future health. It comes from a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The study found a link between eating chili peppers on a regular basis and the significant decrease in all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer-related deaths.

The data used in the study represented 570,000 people.

Analysts found eating hot peppers reduced the relative risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 26-percent. They also found 23-percent fewer cancer deaths with people who ate chili peppers compared to those who either rarely ate chili peppers, or never ate chili peppers at all. Researchers credit many of the health benefits to capsaicin. That’s the compound found in hot peppers. Capsaicin produces heat, plus it may also help reduce inflammation, help regulate blood sugar and block tumor growth.

While that’s great news for your future health

It doesn’t mean you can start out at the top of the pepper scale and immediately get results. When it comes to chili peppers, you’ll probably want to start on the lower end of the scale with a milder pepper, then work your way up the Scoville chart. One mild pepper to try is the Anaheim. It’s not zero on the scale like a bell pepper, but it’s still relatively tame. The highest concentration of capsaicin is in the seeds, so you can try taking out the seeds to begin with, then slowly increasing your heat exposure over time. While you won’t get all the health benefits right away, it does give your tongue’s pain receptors a chance to get used to the spice before you start laying on the heat. Starting slowly also gives you a chance to enjoy the unique flavors of each and every pepper.

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