Eating Hot Chili Peppers Makes You Live Longer, Says Science | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

Eating Hot Chili Peppers Makes You Live Longer, Says Science

Make it spicier.

Charlie Sorrel 01.20.17 11:15 AM

Spicy food isn’t just delicious, it could help you live longer. Eating hot chili peppers can reduce your chance of dying, and help prevent heart disease and strokes, says a new study from the University of Vermont (a place with notably not a lot of spiciness in its regional cuisine).

According to the study, eating chilis reduces total mortality by 12%, and is "associated with a 13% reduction in the instantaneous hazard of death." To determine chilis’ health benefits, the researchers looked at a long-term health survey which included the consumption of red hot chili peppers in its data. The study ran from 1988 to 1994, and the frequency of chili pepper consumption was measured in 16,179 of the participants. The specific question was "How often did you have hot red chili peppers? Do not count ground red chili peppers."

We’ll start off with this quote, direct from the newly published paper:

Compared with participants who did not consume hot red chili peppers, those who did consume them were more likely to be younger, male, white, Mexican-American, married, and to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and consume more vegetables and meats. They had lower HDL-cholesterol, lower income, and less education.

The Vermont team crunched the data to see what, if any, link existed between chili peppers and mortality. To make the study more accurate, they adjusted for the demographic and socioeconomic status of the participants, along with their personal habits. The results showed a clear correlation between eating spicy chilis and not dying, although the nature of the study means that one doesn’t necessarily cause the other. For instance, it could be down to other foods often consumed with chilis.

[Photo: ktsimage/iStock]

Still, assuming that chilis are indeed magical life extenders, how might they do it? The key ingredient is probably capsaicin, the part that makes them hot. It could be, say the authors, that capsaicin stimulates our cells to prevent obesity, which in turn reduces cardiovascular, metabolic and lung diseases. Capsaicin is also known for its antimicrobial properties, and regular consumption might alter the biome in our gut. A 2009 study concluded that spices could reduce the chance of cancer.

This is all good news for chili lovers, and a great argument to have ready the next time a dinner guest complains that you’ve made the food too hot (as if that’s even possible).

4 powerful probiotic foods that help bulletproof the immune system – NaturalNews.com

4 powerful probiotic foods that help bulletproof the immune system

(NaturalNews) With estimates that the body has 10 times more bacteria than cells (approximately 10 trillion), it becomes pretty clear that maintaining a proper bacterial balance is vital for long-term health. An important factor in that balance is plenty of probiotics (good bacteria) in order to keep the optimal balance of 85 percent good bacteria to 15 percent bad bacteria in check. These probiotic foods will help achieve just that.

Fermented vegetables

Man has been fermenting vegetables for thousands of years as a way to preserve their harvest (much like pickling). However, it has been more recently accepted that fermented vegetables are not just a good preservation system but also an exceptional way to ingest high quality and live probiotics.

Consuming fermented vegetables keep bad bacteria and yeast in check, as the lactic acid producing lactobacilli in these foods alter the acidity in the intestine which helps prevent the overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria, molds, and candida.

One of the most commonly fermented vegetables is sauerkraut, which simply consists of cabbage, salt, and a culture starter if desired. However, nearly any vegetable can be fermented and can be stored for months and even years under the right conditions.

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented drink that can be made from milk, water, grains, and coconut water. Although it is not a good preservation method, the fermenting of these mediums can produce a probiotic-rich beverage that is not only delicious, but also healing for the digestive system.

Consuming kefir will ensure your body is fed a wide variety of beneficial bacteria that will enhance hydration and recolonize your gut and mucous membranes. It also contains beneficial yeasts that are known to hunt down and destroy pathogenic yeasts in the body, as well as detoxify the liver and fortify the immune system.

All the ingredients you would need to make kefir are your desired liquid, small amount of sugar (not required to start dairy kefir), and a kefir starter (probiotic).

Kombucha

Made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY, or also known as the "mother" because of its ability to reproduce), kombucha has been around for more than 2000 years. However, it didn’t gain popularity in the West until recently.

Consuming kombucha will introduce a wide array of enzymes and bacterial acids that will detoxify your liver, aid in digestion, improve your joint health, and boost your immune system.

The only ingredients you need to make kombucha are black or green tea, some sugar, and a kombucha starter culture or SCOBY.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apples and has pale to medium amber color. It can be substituted in many food preparations for white vinegar, with exponentially more health benefits.

Consuming apple cider vinegar will introduce beneficial enzymes, probiotics, and amino acids that will improve digestion, relieve heartburn, stimulate the lymphatic system, help get rid of candida, and help strengthen the immune system.

Making apple cider vinegar is a double fermentation process. First, apples are fermented and reduced to cider, and then the cider is fermented to create apple cider vinegar.

With all these foods, one can expect to introduce beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and a host of highly digestible vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. This will effectively clean up the digestive system, which will in turn strengthen the immune system as well.

These foods just may be the cheapest and best form of healthcare.

About the author:
Derek Henry took a deadly health challenge that conventional medicine couldn’t solve and self-directed a one-in-a-million health journey that found him happier and healthier than he had been in his entire life. As a result of this rewarding journey, he now spends his time writing, coaching, and educating thousands of people each month who want to enjoy similar results under their own direction.

His signature online program, THRIVE, teaches people how to engineer their own health transformation, by addressing all the holistic factors that he utilized to create his own successful health story. Derek believes that anyone can create the health they desire with the right mentor, details, and motivation to be well.

Is Teff the New Super Grain?

Is Teff the New Super Grain?

August 16, 2016 10:25 am
Photo

Credit iStock

When Laura Ingalls, an avid runner from Boston, found out after a routine blood test that she was iron-deficient, she turned to the kitchen instead of the medicine cabinet: She started eating teff.

A grain the size of a poppy seed that hails from Ethiopia, teff is naturally high in minerals and protein. Ms. Ingalls started baking with it, cooking with it, and using it to make hot cereal with coconut oil. Now she loves it so much that she doesn’t run a race without it.

“Teff is like a runner’s super food,” she said. “It’s great as a pre-race meal. It’s high in iron and it’s a whole grain so it provides a slow release of energy, which is exactly what I need.”

Teff has long been a dietary staple for Ethiopia’s legendary distance runners, like the Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Haile Gebrselassie, who called teff a secret to the success of Ethiopian runners. But now teff is becoming a go-to grain for a growing number of Americans.

Endurance athletes like the grain because it’s naturally high in minerals. People who can’t tolerate gluten use teff as an alternative to wheat. And dietitians recommend teff as a way for Americans to introduce more whole grains into their diets.

The growing interest in teff is part of an increasing consumer desire for so-called ancient grains like farro, quinoa, spelt, amaranth and millet. Health-conscious consumers have been gravitating to these grains because they’re nutrient dense and have not been genetically modified.

Sales of ancient grains have risen steeply in the United States in recent years — teff sales rose 58 percent in 2014, according to a report last year by Packaged Facts, a market research firm. Teff has been used commercially in everything from pasta to protein bars and pancake mix.

Julie Lanford, a registered dietitian who teaches nutrition classes to cancer survivors in North Carolina, said she often recommends teff because most Americans consume wheat as their only whole grain. Every plant has a unique assortment of nutrients, and by eating different grains, “you get a variety of different nutrients,” she said.

At home, Ms. Lanford substitutes teff when she makes grits and a version of cream of wheat. She also makes teff porridge with dates and honey for breakfast.

“My 5-year-old loves it,” she said.

But as teff finds its way into American kitchens, farmers a world away in East Africa are watching with reservations.

Photo

A father and son winnow teff in Tigray, Ethiopia.Credit Getty Images

Sea Salt vs. Table Salt: Which Is Healthier?

Sea Salt vs. Table Salt: Which Is Healthier?

Time for a dash of salt on that sheet pan of roasted veggies. What do you reach for? Pink Himalayan crystal salt? Hawaiian red salt? Black lava salt? Or, good old Morton’s table salt?

Colorful, exotic sea salts are marketed as minimally-processed, healthful alternatives to refined table salt. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Colorful, exotic sea salts are marketed as minimally-processed, healthful alternatives to refined table salt. But since your individual diet and health influences what you need from salt, it’s worth examining the claims and true differences among salts before you choose.

Processing in Sea Salt vs. Table Salt

It’s true that sea salt undergoes less processing than table salt; it’s produced simply by evaporating water from oceans or salinated lakes. Trace minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium remain in sea salt, altering its texture, flavor and nutritional content in subtle ways.

Table salt, on the other hand, is mined from salt deposits underground. Manufacturers strip the salt of minerals to yield a uniformly white color, grind it to a fine consistency and add an anti-caking agent like calcium silicate. Finally, most table salts contain added iodine to combat iodine deficiency and goiter.

Many consumers gravitate toward sea salt because of its “close-to-nature” status–and its easy to understand why! We know minimal processing benefits our health when it comes to grains, meats and vegetables, so shouldn’t the same be true for salt?

There’s more to consider.

Trace Minerals

The promise of trace minerals in sea salt is alluring, but experts with the American Heart Association note that most minerals in sea salt occur plentifully in other foods. If you eat a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, you likely already consume plenty of potassium, magnesium, calcium and other nutrients.

Sodium Content

By weight, the amount of sodium in sea salt and table salt is roughly equal. That means if you’re trying to keep your sodium intake below the recommended limit of 2,300 milligrams per day, use either type of salt in moderation.

Worthy of note: most sodium we ingest doesn’t come from the salt we add to food, but from packaged and processed food. The most effective change you can make to reduce sodium intake is to eat fewer processed foods and less restaurant fare.

Iodine

Dietary iodine added to table salt—but not sea salt—protects the health of your thyroid, which in turn helps regulate your metabolism, heart rate, nervous system and many more functions.

Certain foods supply iodine naturally, including seaweed, fish, yogurt and eggs. If you eat these foods regularly (especially seaweed!), you may be getting the recommended 150 micrograms of iodine your body needs in a day.

If your diet is low in iodine, however (which is common), choosing iodized table salt might act as a good insurance policy for thyroid health.

So, What Should I Choose?

The salt you choose depends on your tastes, nutritional status and diet. If you are neither pregnant nor breastfeeding and you regularly eat iodine-rich foods, you might choose sea salts for their beautiful array of colors, textures and flavors. A little jar of special salt makes a charming gift and if you enjoy eating foods close to their natural state, sea salt can complement your cooking.

But sea salt, unlike table salt, does not supply iodine and its trace minerals probably have little effect on your health. Most importantly, remember that sea salt contains as much sodium as table salt, so whatever you choose, use just a sprinkle!

Black Sesame Seeds for Better Digestion and Healthier Bones – NDTV Food

BLACK SESAME SEEDS FOR BETTER DIGESTION AND HEALTHIER BONES

Black Sesame seeds, also known as kala til, are one of oldest condiments known to man. They are highly valued for their oil. “Open Sesame”- the famous phrase from the Arabian Nights symbolizes the distinguishing feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity.

In Japan, whole seeds are found in servings of mixed greens and baked snacks, and tan and black sesame seed varieties are toasted and used to make gomashio, a dry condiment. You will also find sesame seeds sprinkled over sushi rolls. Black sesame seeds are also popularly used in Korean cooking to marinate meat and vegetables. Chefs in tempura restaurants mix black sesame seeds with cottonseed oil for deep-frying. Sesame is also known as SimSim in Africa and used is to make various dishes like Wangila which is made with ground black sesame seeds is mostly presented with smoked fish or lobster.

Black sesame seeds and its oil are used widely across India. The seeds are often blended with warm jaggery, sugar, or palm sugar and made into balls that are eaten as a snack. In Manipur, black sesame is used for the preparation of Thoiding and Singju (a kind of salad). Thoiding is prepared with ginger, chilli and vegetables and is served along with the spicy Singju dish. In Assam, black sesame seeds are used to make Til Pitha and tilor laru (sesame seed sweet balls) during the festival of Bihu.

According to Dr. Rupali Dutta, Chief Nutritionist, SmartCooky, “Black sesame seeds are a good source of energy due to the high fat content. They contain healthy fats like polyunsaturated fatty acids and Omega-6. They also contain fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.”

Benefits of Black Sesame Seeds

1.Anti-ageing properties: The Chinese believe that the nutrients in black sesame seeds can help in postponing or reversing, certain age-related side effects. As per a study done by Harvard University in 2010, black sesame seeds are rich in vitamin B and iron, and most people who have a vitamin B or iron deficiency show symptoms like hair turning gray, hearing loss and memory loss, all of which are the indicators of ageing.

2. Decreases the risk of cancer: According to Dr.Ronald DePhino, Principal Investigator, M.D.Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, the sesamin found in sesame seeds is found to protect the liver against the damage caused by free radicals in the body. Also, the seeds are rich in fiber, lignans (cell reinforcements) and phytosterol (phytochemicals), which can protect you against the development of colon cancer.

3. Relief for constipation and indigestion: Dr. Amol Ghosh from N.R.S. Hospial in Kolkata, says, “The black sesame seed can help in curing constipation due to the high fiber content and unsaturated fatty acid content. The oil found in the seed can lubricate your intestines, while the fiber in the seed helps in smooth bowel movements. These seeds also help in clearing up worms in your intestinal tract and improve the digestion process.” Grinding the seeds or soaking them overnight can help make the seeds more digestible.

4. Stabilizes your blood pressure: According to Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, “Black sesame seeds are rich in magnesium that helps prevent hypertension. Poly unsaturated fats and the compound sesamin present in sesame oil are known to keep blood pressure levels in check.”

5. For healthier bones: According to Dr. Gargi Sharma, Nutritionist at Aayna Clinic in Delhi, “Osteoporosis is a condition of fragile bones with an increased susceptibility to fracture. Bone mass tends to decrease after the age of 35, and bone loss occurs more rapidly in women after menopause. Black sesame seeds are abundant in calcium and zinc that your bones strong.”

How to use black sesame seeds?

According to Dr. Anju Sood, a Bangalore-based nutritionist, “You can sprinkle these nutrient-rich seeds over your cereals, noodles or rice. You can also mix them with your yogurt or smoothie to give it that nutty flavour. Also, if you soak these seeds overnight it aids in the absorption of calcium and minerals from the seeds, as well as reduces the effects of oxalic acid found in them that can prevent the absorption of nutrients. People who have a weak stomach or a history of kidney stone, should not consume too much of it.”

Like the Article? Share it!