Hot sauce lovers, rejoice! A new study released says that hot sauce instantly improves your health in more ways than one, especially when consumed regularly. So uncap that bottle of Texas Pete or Cholula and get to hot saucing.
In 2015, researchers united to discover the effects of capsaicin, the ingredient that is responsible for heat and spice, on those who regularly consumed spicy foods versus those who did not. The paper looked at “half a million Chinese adults [and] found that those who ate spicy foods three or more times a week had a 14 percent reduced risk of death, compared to those who didn’t eat much spicy food,” according to Time.
David Popovich, one of the lead researchers in the study and a senior lecturer at Massey University in New Zealand, also looked at capsaicin’s effects on cancer cells. “When Popovich puts capsaicin on top, [cancer] cell growth is reduced, [but] scientists don’t know the mechanism by which capsaicin appears to work in the body,” but believe it has something to do with the elements of capsaicin causing a cell suicide upon contact.
The best part for hot sauce lovers? The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. Ghost pepper fans, looking at you here since you will probably live the longest.
The best part for everyone else? Hot sauce works best when paired with fattier foods, like oil. When paired with vegetables, the body can’t absorb as many of the benefits of the element.
So eat your vegetables in the form of hot sauce or spicy, capsaicin-laced foods, and you’ll be set for life. If you can handle the heat, that is.