Studies Show, Eating Peppers May Elongate Your Life

Studies Show, Eating Peppers May Elongate Your Life

If you have a taste for peppery foods you may be lengthening your life without even knowing it. It turns out that there are many compounds in various peppers that hold all sorts of systemic benefits. In some cases, these compounds aren’t only associated with hot peppers they can be found in sweet or mild peppers as well.

So before you say no to those fiery, sweet, savory, robust colorful peppers, you may want to try jumping on the eating-peppers-for longer-life bandwagon. It’s another easy way to take advantage of Nature’s healing powers that can still protect you while possibly preventing the need for conventional medicines in the future.

The Chili Pepper

Funny that the name for a pepper could be so deceiving. Chili peppers are mostly hot and, when consumed, react inside your body in a unique way. Some might think it is the high vitamin and mineral content, particularly vitamin C, in chili peppers that makes them so healthy. The truth is that hot peppers are consumed in small qualities which makes these nutritional attributes minimal. However, the antioxidants and other compounds of chili peppers can be beneficial even in small doses.

Researchers at the University of Vermont recently reported results from a large population cohort study titled ‘The Association of Hot Red Chili Pepper Consumption and Mortality’.

It was reported that,

“…chili peppers, increase lipid catabolism in different organs and tissues, which could protect against hypercholesterolemia and obesity, reducing the risks of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.”

The study concluded that,

“Our analyses showed a significant decrease in mortality associated with hot red chili pepper consumption.”

The main compound in chili peppers such as jalapeños, cayenne, poblano, chipotle, and tabasco is capsaicin, a highly studied ingredient that has been linked to various health benefits. Published in the British Medical Journal, Open Heart (2015), capsaicin continues to receive support,

“…studies suggest that capsaicin may merit clinical evaluation with respect to endothelial function, progression of atherosclerosis (most notably in diabetics), angina, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiac hypertrophy, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, obesity and gastric ulceration.”

Other beneficial compounds found in chili peppers include:

  • Capsanthin – This compound makes up the red color of chili peppers and contains high antioxidant properties.
  • Violaxanthin – This is the main antioxidant compound found in up to 68% of the carotenoids (color property) found in yellow peppers.
  • Lutein – Young chili peppers contain lutein which has been linked to benefitting vision health.
  • Sinapic acid – “…antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antimutagenic, antiglycemic, neuroprotective, and antibacterial activities.” (Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2016)
  • Ferulic acid – “A 2004 Italian study concluded that ferulic acid is a more powerful antioxidant than alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), beta-carotene, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Duke University researchers blended it with vitamin C and E and proclaimed it a “potent ubiquitous plant anti-oxidant” (Truth in Aging)

Bell Peppers

The common bell pepper may be more your speed. These botanical beauties are consumed more readily in many recipes or by themselves as a mild to sweet noshing food. Bell peppers have many of the same attributes as chili peppers, particularly regarding carotenoids, but there are some other benefits they possess that may help you live longer.

Some of these include:

  • Low Cal, High Nutrition Snack – One cup of bell pepper is about 45 calories and packs more Vitamin A and C than the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
  • Beta Carotene – A potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant
  • Sulfur – Known to battle some cancers
  • Vitamin B6 – Which supports a healthy nervous system and assists in cell renewal
  • Collagen – Production of skin collagen is supported by the vitamins in bell peppers
  • Anxiety Relief – Along with B6, bell peppers also contain magnesium. These two nutrients have been linked to relieving anxiety, particularly for those suffering during pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) According to a study published in the Journal of Caring Sciences (12/12), “This two-stage double-blind clinical trial was conducted on 126 women [with premenstrual syndrome] who were randomly allocated into 3 groups to receive magnesium, vitamin B6, or placebo. The findings of this study showed that the mean scores of premenstrual syndrome significantly decreased after the [b6, magnesium] intervention…”

Eating a dominant plant based, non-processed food diet is always recommended when it comes to living longer. However, some botanicals are more potent than others. In the case of these two pepper strains, adding one or both to your diet may be an advantage you never considered, until now