Reduce your risk of heart attack by up to 40%, even if you don’t have a healthy diet.

Source MailOnline

Sounds too good to be true, right, but the original article here tells us that a chilli fix four times a week can do exactly that.

Following research of around 23,000 Italian residents, eating chilli peppers four times a week could cut your risk of dying from a heart attack, scientists claim.

Researchers monitored the volunteers over a period of eight years, paying particular attention to their diet.

The people behind the study found that those adults who ate chilli peppers frequently (four times each week) were less likely to die prematurely, and 40% less likely to die from heart attack. Furthermore, they declared that even those whose diets were not otherwise considered ‘healthy’ achieved benefits as a result of consuming the chillies.

Capsaicin is thought to be behind the benefit.

How did the research work?

Volunteers categorised how often they ate foods containing chilli pepper – never, occasionally, often and very often, and reported it to the researchers.

Each person’s diet was scored on a scale of 0 to 9, based on how well they adhered to their traditional Mediterranean diet. 

The Med diet is regarded as one of the healthiest in the world  – primarily containing vegetables, fruits, fish and olive oil. Dairy products and eggs are lightly eaten and red meat even less so.

Chilli eaters typically adhered to the Mediterranean diet, with veg commonly roasted and added to fish dishes or pasta, supplemented with fruit and nuts.

The results are in.

Over an average follow-up of eight years, 1,236 people died. A third of deaths were from cancer, while heart disease claimed a similar amount.

Regular consumption of chilli was reported by 24 per cent of people. A third said they never ate chilli. 

People who ate chilli four times a week were 23 per cent less likely to die over the course of the study.

The observations were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Marialaura Bonaccio, first author, said: ‘An interesting fact is that protection from mortality risk was independent of the type of diet people followed. In other words, someone can follow the healthy Mediterranean diet, while someone else can eat less healthily, but for all of them chilli pepper has a protective effect.’

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who ate chilli were also more likely to eat garlic, parsley and black pepper, the results showed.

The full article can be found in the link in the first paragraph.