Beat back heart attacks and cancer with chicken wings?!?
When it comes to chow time, lots of us guys live by a pretty simple motto.
The spicier the better.
Whether we're downing a plateful of atomic chicken wings or drowning our eggs in hot sauce, we're not happy unless our food brings tears to our eyes.
And it turns out these spicy foods are giving more than a five-alarm wakeup call to your taste buds. They may help you beat back some of the deadliest diseases around today.
In a new study published in BMJ, researchers found that regularly eating spicy foods can slash your risk of dying from heart disease, respiratory problems and even cancer.
The researchers followed nearly a half million people for four years and found that those who ate spicy foods 3-7 days a week were 14 percent less likely to die than those who ate spicy foods less than once a week.
Even if you just ate spicy foods twice a week, you cut your risk of dying by 10 percent.
And it's not just because spicy foods toughen you up.
You see, spicy foods may leave your tongue swelling up like a balloon. But they're often jam-packed with nutrients that can slash your inflammation levels and reduce your disease risk everywhere else in your body.
One of those tongue-torching miracles is capsaicin. It's an active ingredient in chili peppers -- and the chili powder used to make your favorite chicken wing hot sauces.
Capsaicin has been proven to reduce inflammation (which is why it's often used in pain relievers), fight infections and lower your blood pressure.
Some encouraging animal studies have even found that capsaicin may help kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
Spicy dishes -- especially if they're Indian or Southeast Asian cuisine -- often contain healthy doses of the powerful spice turmeric. Curcumin, one of the main components in turmeric, is one of the most effective and versatile natural disease-fighters around.
Aside from reducing inflammation, curcumin is loaded with antioxidants and has been proven to help lower your risk of Alzheimer's, arthritis, cancer and heart disease.
Now you can certainly get all the capsaicin and curcumin you need from supplements that are all over the market these days. Or just try adding some chili powder or turmeric to rubs, marinades and sauces.
You won't just be spicing up your life -- you may be adding years to it.