(STUDY FINDS) -- POZZILLI, Italy — They say variety is the spice of life. Interestingly, according to a new study conducted in Italy, spice may actually go a long way towards prolonging life as well. Researchers tracked the eating habits and health of over 20,000 Italian citizens for an average period of eight years, and discovered that people who ate chili pepper on a regular basis were 23% less likely to die by any cause in comparison to those who avoided eating chili pepper.
Furthermore, the research team noted that individuals eating chili peppers regularly (at least four times per week) were 40% less likely to die from a heart attack, and more than 50% less likely to die due to a cerebrovascular (blood flow within the brain) issue. In total, 22,811 people living in the Molise region of Italy were tracked for this study.
“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 chili pepper has a protective effect,” explains – first study author Marialaura Bonaccio, a Neuromed epidemiologist, in a release.
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