The Addiction That Makes You Live Longer, According To Research

Time to stack up on spicy foods.

Man trying to cool off mouth after eating spicy food Mariyana M | frantic00 | AtlasStudio | Shutterstock

If you love your foods hotter than the sun, and anything that spices up your life with yummy peppers is right up your alley, then you’re probably doing yourself a big favor. Like, a living longer favor. And that’s literally the best type of favor you can do for anyone.

As it turns out, there’s a specific ingredient in your spicy dishes that might just be pushing your life expectancy up a few notches.


RELATED: The Exact Amount Of Time You Need To Spend In The Gym For A Longer Life, According To Research

That little chili symbol next to your favorite hot pepper dishes is actually to thank you for your incrementally better life expectancy. If you’re drinking anything with caffeine and eating foods with a bit of spicy capsaicin, then you’re well on the way to living your longest possible healthy life, which is great news. You don’t even have to do anything except consume it!


The University of Vermont conducted a 2017 study that was published in the PLOS One Journal and studied 16,000 people over the course of 23 years. They determined that individuals who ate even a tiny amount of chili peppers were actually far less likely — as in 13 percent less likely — to suffer a heart attack or stroke than those who didn’t eat any at all.

Thirteen percent may not seem like a large margin, but considering the alternative has to do with death, those double-digit factors are actually a huge step in the right direction for your future health.

RELATED: The Factor That Can Predict Exactly How Long You'll Live

The study included anyone who ate any amount of peppers in a month, barring ground peppers, like chili flakes or cayenne seasoning, so there’s no direct data on whether eating more counted toward better health than just having any at all. That means doubling down on your ultra-spicy chicken dish may not send your good health into maximum overdrive, although you will receive the benefit of eating the peppers, regardless.


That also means that you only need to include a reasonable amount of peppers in your diet to reap the goodness of capsaicin, and you won’t need to overwhelm your palate with heat.

“Chili peppers have many life-extending benefits and can be used in many meal preparation strategies,” said Dr. Philip Goglia. “Capsaicin, which can be found in chilies, has been shown through past studies to have antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, and anti-diabetic properties. Additionally, it can reduce cholesterol levels in obese individuals.”

RELATED: The One Thing You Can Give Your Parents To Help Them Live Longer, Happier Lives

Goglia also goes on to state that foods with capsaicin also contain vitamin C and are high in much-needed minerals like magnesium, iron, and potassium.


There are a multitude of further benefits to eating spicy foods, so if you’re not a fan of capsaicin, then you might want to learn how to incorporate at least a little into your diet to experience them.

And if you’re a chili fanatic, then the good news is that even though you’re burning your mouth apart with every bite, you’re still giving yourself long-term health bonuses that could just lead to you living longer and being healthier into your old age.

RELATED: The One Thing You Can Do To Live Longer & Be Happier (According To 85 Years Of Scientific Data)


Merethe Najjar is a professional writer, editor, and award-winning fiction author. Her articles have been featured in The Aviator Magazine, Infinite Press, Yahoo, BRIDES, and more.