Curry really could be the spice of life after scientists discovered that eating hot food regularly might lower the risk of dying prematurely.

A study of nearly 500000 Chinese people over seven years found that the risk of dying prematurely among those who ate spicy food three times a week was 14% lower compared with people who abstained.


Fresh and dried chilli peppers were the most commonly used spices in those who reported eating spicy foods weekly, and further analysis showed those who consumed fresh chilli tended to have a lower risk of death from cancer, ischaemic heart disease, and diabetes.

Fresh chilli is packed full of nutrients, vitamins and capsaicin that are thought to fight cancer, inflammation and obesity.

However Nita Forouhi from the University of Cambridge said it was still too early to tell whether it was the food itself, or other behaviours of those eating it, that was causing the effect.

“Future research is needed to establish whether spicy food consumption has the potential to improve health and reduce mortality directly or if it is merely a marker of other dietary and lifestyle factors,” said Forouhi. “Should people eat spicy food? It is too early to say, but the debate and the research interest are certainly hotting up.”

The research was published in the British Medical Journal.Curry_

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