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Like spicy food?

If so, you might live longer, say researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, who found that consumption of hot red chili peppers is associated with a 13 percent reduction in total mortality -- primarily in deaths due to heart disease or stroke -- in a large prospective study.

Past research suggested that spicing food with chilies can lower blood pressure in people with that condition, reduce blood cholesterol and ease the tendency for dangerous blood clots to form.

Researchers in Korea recently published evidence that suggests the mechanisms behind why capsaicin may aid weight loss.

Spicing up your daily diet with some red pepper can also curb appetite, especially for those who don't normally eat the popular spice, according to research from Purdue University.

The component that gives jalapeno peppers their heat may also kill prostate cancer cells.
A recent study published in PLoS ONE only strengthens previous research on the health benefits of chili peppers.

Anthocyanins -- antioxidant pigments found in fruits and vegetables -- have well-established benefits for our cardiovascular system. The benefits are associated with their ability to influence the expression of chemicals by platelets in the blood, says new data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

The new study, published in Nutrition & Metabolism, deepens our understanding of the heart health benefits of anthocyanins, pigments found in many fruit like black raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and blackcurrants. The water-soluble vacuolar pigments may appear red, purple, or blue depending on the pH. They belong to a parent class of molecules called flavonoids.

"These results are of public health importance because intakes of flavonoids associated with these findings are easily achievable in the habitual diet and make a significant contribution to the knowledge base needed to refine the current, rather general, fruit and vegetable dietary recommendations," wrote researchers from the University of East Anglia and King's College London.