In The News This Week: Spice Cuts Risk of Early Death

Eating spicy food twice a week cuts the risk of an early death by more than a tenth, researchers have found.  Chillies contain health giving substances that lower the risk of dying early, but also reduce the risk of death from cancer and heart and lung diseases.

The major study, led by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, found those who ate spicy food on one or two days a week had a 10 per cent reduced risk of dying, and those who ate it three to seven days a week had a 14 per cent reduced risk. 

Catherine Collins principal dietician  at St George's Hospital said 'We know from food analysis that herbs and spices punch above their weight in contributing powerful antioxidant substances to the diet.  Whether freshly chopped or dried, their small size and large surface area allows our digestive tract to extract a larger proportion of their potentially beneficial substances'

Unfortunately for some, the study found the results were stronger in those who did not drink alcohol, so enjoying a curry with a pint of beer, could reduce the positive effects.

WHITE BREAD AND RICE RAISE RISK OF DESPRESSION

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  found white bread and rice can increase the risk of depression in older women while whole grain foods, roughage and vegetables can reduce it.  The research which studied data from 70,000 older women found a clear link between refined carb consumption and depression. Depression now affects around 3 in 10 people in Britain.