Fire it up: This hot sauce recipe is not just delicious, but may just extend your life
Humans have taken an almost masochistic sort of pleasure from adding chili peppers to their food for the past couple of centuries. Now, new research shows that the peppers that have made our lives more interesting might also make them longer.
That’s right. Eating chili peppers regularly can reduce your risk of mortality by up to 23 percent. Those are the findings of a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The study, conducted by Italian researchers, involved 22,811 people from the region of Molise in south-central Italy. The researchers followed the participants for approximately eight years and studied their eating habits.
They found that participants who ate chili peppers at least four times each week had a 40 percent lower risk of dying of a heart attack than those who didn’t eat chili peppers as regularly or as frequently.
Participants who ate chili peppers often also enjoyed a 23 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality and an over 50 percent lower risk of cerebrovascular mortality.
The researchers noted how interesting it was that chili peppers lowered mortality risk regardless of the type of diet that the participants followed. Further studies should focus on how chili peppers and plants with compounds similar to those found in chili peppers help improve health and promote longevity.
Other amazing health benefits of chili peppers
Experts trace chili peppers’ apparent health benefits to a compound known as capsaicin. This is the ingredient that gives chili peppers their fiery qualities.
Apart from helping you live longer, chili peppers can confer the following health benefits:
- Chili peppers improve digestive health – Chili peppers are rich in antioxidants and other powerful compounds that help soothe digestive problems like intestinal gas, cramps and diarrhea. Research suggests that chili peppers can even help treat peptic or stomach ulcers.
- Chili peppers help lower cancer risk – Chili peppers are thought to have incredible cancer-fighting properties because of capsaicin. Research shows capsaicin can kill prostate and leukemia cancer cells.
- Chili peppers boost immune health – Chili peppers are great for curbing symptoms of the cold and the flu. That’s because chili peppers are rich in vitamins A and C, which are well-known for their immune-boosting effects.
- Chili peppers fight inflammation – Capsaicin inhibits substance P, a neuropeptide that contributes to inflammation. This is why capsaicin is believed to be a potential natural remedy for inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
- Chili peppers slash diabetes risk – Chili peppers can help prevent insulin resistance, which can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
- Chili peppers support heart health – Chili peppers are brimming with potassium. This mineral can help keep heart disease at bay by relaxing your blood vessels for better circulation. Niacin, another essential nutrient abundant in chili peppers, helps you maintain healthy levels of cholesterol.
Recipe for homemade hot sauce
If you like your food hot, then you’ll definitely love this easy homemade hot sauce recipe.
Ingredients for 5 pints:
- 20 habanero peppers
- 15 dried chiles de arbol
- 8 garlic cloves, halved
- 5 serrano peppers
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large sweet onion, cut into eight wedges
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Wear gloves. Cut the habanero and serrano peppers in half. Remove the stems and seeds.
- Soak the chile de arbol in a bowl with boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes and strain once the peppers are soft enough. Discard the water.
- Bring a gallon of water to a boil in a stockpot. Reduce heat and add carrots, onion and garlic. Simmer for 20 minutes or until soft. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
- To the same pot, add all peppers and boil for 1 minute. Transfer the peppers to the bowl with the vegetables.
- To a blender, add the vegetables, chili peppers, white vinegar, lime juice, salt, ground black pepper and 1 cup of water. Puree until smooth.
- Pour the puree into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Prepare and sanitize enough jars for storing the sauce. Pour the sauce into the jars, leaving at least a half-inch headspace at the top. Remove air bubbles.
- Wipe the rims clean and place the sanitized lids. Screw tightly. Place into a canner with simmering water and bring to a boil. Process for 10 minutes. Remove jars from the canner and let cool before storing.
Chili peppers add a hot, fiery kick to your food. They also benefit your health in many ways. Boost your overall health when you incorporate chili peppers into your diet. Add chopped chili peppers to your salads and casseroles or make a batch of homemade hot sauce ideal for marinades, sauces, dips and more!
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