CAN SPICY FOOD HELP YOU TO LIVE LONGER?

India is home to world’s best spices and was one of the countries that made other countries taste it. From centuries India has been the largest exporter various types spices. We have a strong relation with them and they have been part and parcel of our daily meals. Although Indian food is spicy but lately it has been observed that Indians are moving towards less spicy but we have to understand that our ancestors were intelligent and these spices aren’t just to add taste in our food instead they have a lot of health benefits, yes you read that right.

Many of the spices we consume in our day to day life help our internal organs to make our body fit and help our body fight foreign bodies that can otherwise harm us.

Let us understand how spicy food helps us and our body organs to make our immunity strong-

Cancer is of the leading diseases of this century and has killed and affected thousands of people. With a little change in our daily life we can empower our body to fight against cancer. Chili pepper has a special ingredient called – capsaicin. It has the ability that causes cancer cells to kill themselves. The benefits of capsaicin are not limited to this, it also helps to reduce the chances of heart diseases. Black pepper also fights against cancer cells, piperine found in black pepper increases the absorption of nutrient like Vitamin-B, selenium etc. in the body and these nutrients fight against cancer.

India is considered as the ‘diabetes capital’ with more than 50.8 million suffering from the same. Insulin is required to convert glucose into energy which is required by your body for everyday work and if this stops then it can cause type-2 diabetes. But fortunately red chilies could help you to an extent to curd insulin resistance and hence slowing the chances of getting diabetes.

Antioxidants protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Chili has vitamin c and lycopene antioxidants which do this job for our body and protect our cells. Black pepper can also help in this by preventing oxidation of various foods by acting as a strong antioxidant.

SPICY FOOD

Many people have this complaint of not eating much but still not able to reduce weight. Well the real reason behind anyone being fat or slim is the metabolism rate. If your body has right metabolism rate you would never go fat but some people have a slow metabolism rate and hence their body needs time to digest the food. Black pepper helps in increasing the metabolism rate and hence fighting fat and further reducing it.

Black pepper is also beneficial in fighting against cold, cough and similar infections. Consumed with honey it acts as a good home remedy for cold and cough.

Turmeric helps our body to get a strong immune system as it is a perfect natural medicine that has anti-inflammatory properties and it can be used with other foods/drinks.

Curcumin has anti-tumor properties that prevent growth of cancerous tumor cells in different part of the body like stomach, skin, liver etc.

Our ancestors knew this and thus they introduced these spices in our daily meals, but today in the era of science we believe what we see, when things have logic.

In 2015 researchers from China, United States of America and United Kingdom took part in a research to figure out the relation of spicy food habits with life expectancy of individuals. The research was done on Chinese individuals to find out links between health, diet, daily habits, life expectancy etc. It was on done on nearly 2 lakhs male and 2.88 lakhs female. It was found that people who ate spicy food (red chilies, black pepper etc.) one to two days in a week had 10% less risk of early death and people who ate it more than five times a week had 14-15% less risk of early death. However, it wasn’t evident that spicy food can fight against death and the research is still under progress.

There isn’t a strong evidence that gives a direct relation of spicy food and longer life expectancy. But there are enough benefits of spices that not only boost immunity but also make organs like kidney, stomach, cells stronger which are the ingredients of a healthier and longer life. But this doesn’t mean that one should eat spicy food all the time, especially the spicy food from restaurants because that would have a negative impact on the health as excessive spicy food may leads to other health problems. One should include appropriate amount of spices like red chili, green chili, black pepper, turmeric in their daily meals but if you are allergic to any of the spices then it is better to avoid that particular spice.

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Mahima Sarin

I love writing on Health and Food.

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