This is according to a study published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology released on Monday, December 16, 2019.
Findings from the research showed that the risk of dying of a heart attack went down by 40% for people who regularly consumed chilli pepper (four times a week or more).
Overall, the mortality risk reduced by 23% while the risk of death from stroke lowered more than half in people who consume chilli pepper regularly compared to those who did not.
"In a model adjusted only for age, sex, and energy intake, regular consumption [4 or more times each week] of chilli pepper was associated with 23% lower risk of all-cause mortality, as opposed to none/rare intake, and results remained substantially unchanged in the fully adjusted model," the study stated.
The study was done by monitoring the health status and eating habits of 22,811 men and women living in Molise, Italy over eight years. Some of the participants ate chilli and some did not.
Commenting on the research, the study lead author Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute (Neuromed) said, "An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed.
"In other words, someone can follow the healthy Mediterranean diet, someone else can eat less healthily, but for all of them chilli pepper has a protective effect."
Sharing his thoughts on the study, Duane Mellor, a registered dietitian and senior teaching fellow at Aston Medical School in the UK, noted that it does not necessarily show a strong link between the consumption of chilli and having a healthy life.
"It is plausible people who use chillies, as the data suggests also used more herbs and spices, and as such likely to be eating more fresh foods including vegetables," he stated.
Following the results of this study, the team now has plans to figure out exactly what makes chilli so good for our health.
Extra health benefits of eating chilli pepper
This is not the first science has attributed certain health benefits to the chilli pepper which is rich in numerous minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
Some additional health benefits include:
- Improves digestive health and metabolism
- Aids weight loss
- Alleviates migraines and joint pain
- May decrease the risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes
- Fights flu, colds, fungal infections and inflammation
- Promotes the growth of red blood cells
- Can be used to treat wrinkles, acne scars, dark spots and keep your hair healthy.
It is important to add that chilli pepper is very spicy and hot so it should be consumed in moderation to avoid redness, stomach pain and diarrhoea.
Some studies even associate high chilli consumption with increased cancer risk.