12 Recipes With the Spicy Italian Ingredient Connected to Longevity

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If you're a fan of chili peppers, you're in luck. Aside from bringing on the heat, new research shows they can also help you live longer—the best possible reason to spice up your life.

In a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers looked into the health status and eating habits of more than 22,800 citizens of Molise, a region of Southern Italy, over an 8-year period. What they found is that consumption of chili peppers is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. On top of that, for those who ate chili peppers the all-cause mortality risk was 23 percent lower than who didn't eat chili peppers.

I mean, those stats are pretty impressive. And if you want to start reaping the longevity benefits of the spicy vegetable yourself, here are some of the best chili pepper recipes to get you started.

The best chili pepper recipes to help you live a long, spicy life

chili pepper recipes
Photo: Fork in the Road

1. Fusilli pasta salad

Fusilli pasta originated in Molise, so this spicy pasta salad recipe seasoned with crushed red pepper flakes is a must-try.

Photo: Sonja and Alex Overhiser

2. Darn good vegan chili

This wholesome chili gets a lot of flavor and spice from the solid dose of chili powder.

Photo: Kim-Julie Hansen

3. Cinnamon-chili sweet potatoes with miso-ginger tempeh

These cinnamon-chili sweet potatoes totally steal the show in this bowl. They're anti-inflammatory, vegan, and delicious.

chilli pepper recipes
Photo: Gimme Some Oven

4. Spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, and chili peppers

This super-simple spaghetti recipe is seasoned with red chili peppers, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil. Easy peasy.

Photo: Choosing Chia

5. Spicy sichuan noodles

Chili sauce and chili flakes add the perfect amount of heat to this comforting noodle dish.

Photo: Nutrition Stripped

6. Chili chocolate truffles

Chili peppers can make their way into dessert, too. They take the flavor in these chocolatey truffles to the next level.

chilli pepper recipes
Photo: Love & Lemons

7. Sweet potato chili fries

If you're a fan of loaded fries, you have to try this sweet potato version that ups the heat with chipotle chili peppers.

Photo: Oh She Glows

8. Black bean and potato nacho plate

Healthify your nachos with this protein-packed version loaded with potatoes and black beans. And of course some chili powder for spice.

Photo: VeguKate

9. Spicy Mexican hot chocolate

One super-easy way to increase the amount of chili peppers in your life is to add them to your beverages, like this spicy hot chocolate that hits the spot all winter long.

Photo: The Toasted Pine Nut

10. Spicy vegetarian tofu tacos

The crumbled tofu seasoned with chipotle chili powder is the star of the show in this dish.

chilli pepper recipes
Photo: Cookie and Kate

11. Popcorn with chili powder and dark chocolate

Add some spice to your favorite snack by making this chili powder and dark chocolate popcorn.

Photo: Minimalist Baker

12. Easy vegan ramen

This vegan ramen is tastier—and healthier—than what you'll find on a restaurant menu. Plus, chili garlic sauce makes for the best topping.

There's so much more to the Mediterranean diet:

Add more spice to your life with this 10-minute spicy vegan taco recipe or the spicy mocktail recipe you can enjoy at all your holiday parties.

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