food

Hot sauce could be the weight management ingredient you need.

Image: iStock. 

They say a person’s eyes convey a lot about their true self, but we reckon you can learn everything you need to know about someone by looking at how much chilli they add to their meal.

Interestingly, scientists have found that how much spice you eat also says a lot about your health.

A recent study published in medical journal BMJ found that, compared with those who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who consumed spicy foods six or seven days a week showed a 14 per cent reduced risk of death.

Allow me to repeat that for just a second – 14 per cent reduced risk of death. Yeah, we reckon that’s worth the burn.

(Paper Tiger share their tips on how to have a healthy holiday. Post continues after video.)

Studying half a million people, the researchers noted that fresh spicy foods like chilli peppers are better choices than non-fresh foods (like chilli sauce or dried peppers). This is because “fresh chilli pepper is richer in bioactive ingredients, including capsaicin, vitamin C, and other nutrients such as vitamin A, K, and B6, and potassium”.

Capsaicin is an active complainant of chilli peppers and is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and also has anticancer effects. The hotter a chilli is, the more capsaican it contains.

What may come as a surprise to chilli lovers is that pairing their hot sauce of choice with oil can increase the benefits.

“Capsaicin is a fat-soluble molecule,” David Popovich, a senior lecturer at Massey University in New Zealand, told Time Magazine.

"Pair it with oil, and the body can absorb more than if were paired with, say, raw vegetables," he explains.

Popovich also explains that one theory behind why hot sauce might be the key to weight management is that it triggers something called apoptosis, which encourages cells to become recycled into new ones (getting rid of some cells with mutations in the process.)

Our hot tip? When choosing a chilli sauce of choice make sure it doesn't have added sugar (quite a few on the market do.)

Provided you can handle the heat, that is.

Fan of hot sauce? What is your favourite?