Eating curries could help you live longer

Hot Pot, a soup base and dipping sauce, is the most popular spicy food in Sichuan Province in China. China Photos/Getty Images

Eating spicy foods has been linked to lower risk of death, according to a study in the medical journal The BMJ.

And the most benefit comes from eating curries regularly throughout the week.

However, the scientists say more research is needed before definitive recommendations can be made on diet.

Previous research found that the beneficial effects of spices and their active ingredient, capsaicin, include anti-obesity, antioxidant, anti-inflammation and anticancer properties.

In the latest work, a team led by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences looked at the association between spicy foods as part of a daily diet and the total risk and causes of death.

The study used 487,375 participants, aged 30-79 years, from China.

Those who ate spicy foods almost every day had a relative 14% lower risk of death compared to those who consumed spicy foods less than once a week.

The association was similar in both men and women and was stronger in those who did not consume alcohol.

Fresh and dried chilli peppers were the most commonly used spices.

And analysis showed that those who consumed fresh chilli tended to have a lower risk of death from cancer, ischaemic heart disease, and diabetes.

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