Sure, you may have heard that trading sugar for healthy fats (avocados FTW!) is a wise thing to do to add more healthy years to your life (spoiler alert: sugar kills). But new research shows that there’s something else you might want to start eating to boost your longevity.
According to a new study from the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, eating chili peppers could lead to a longer lifespan. Researchers kept tabs on 16,000 Americans for over two decades, and one of their big takeaways was that people who popped peppers on the reg had a 12 percent lower mortality rate than those who didn’t.
So what makes the spicy veg a lifesaver? Doctors believe the powers lie in capsaicin, red pepper’s main component, which has been linked to regulating metabolism, lowering cholesterol, and supporting a healthy microbiome. And, hey, capsaicin is also known as an aphrodisiac—adjust your Valentine’s Day menu accordingly.
FYI, while red hot chili peppers may give you life, Sriracha, well, won’t, so stick with the real thing with this recipe for turmeric zucchini noodles with cilantro tahini.