(TMU) — Those of us who regularly enjoy delicious hot bowls of spicy pasta arrabiata or delicious platters of enchiladas drowned in salsa de chile pasilla are in for some good news: chili peppers are not only delicious, but they also have numerous health benefits.
According to new research carried out in Italy, eating chili peppers on a regular basis can significantly cut the risk of death from heart disease and stroke.
The study, which compared the risks of death among 23,000 people, looked at the eating habits of those who ate chili peppers and those who refrained from the fiery fruit. Subjects of the study were citizens of Italy’s Molise region, which stretches from the Apennines Mountains to the Adriatic Sea.
Over eight years, participants health status’ and eating habits were closely monitored. The study, which was published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that those who indulged in chili peppers at least four times per week had a 40-percent lower risk of death by heart attack than those who refrained.
The risk of stroke was also more than halved.
The study also found that those who regularly ate chili cut their mortality risk by 23 percent for a number of ailments and illnesses.
Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute (Neuromed) and lead author of the study, explained:
“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, someone else can eat less healthily, but for all of them chili pepper has a protective effect.”
The benefit is largely credited to capsaicin, the anti-inflammatory compound responsible for chili peppers’ burning sensation.
Licia Iacoviello, a co-author of the study, noted that there was good reason why Italian food culture exalts chilies. He explained:
“Chili pepper is a fundamental component of our food culture. We see it hanging on Italian balconies, and even depicted in jewels.
Over the centuries, beneficial properties of all kinds have been associated with its consumption, mostly on the basis of anecdotes or traditions, if not magic.
It is important now that research deals with it in a serious way, providing rigor and scientific evidence.”
Continuing, he added:
“And now, as already observed in China and in the United States, we know that the various plants of the capsicum species, although consumed in different ways throughout the world, can exert a protective action towards our health.”
Despite the enthusiastic endorsement of chili peppers as a heart-healthy food by the Italian researchers, a study published in July by the University of South Australia found that too many spicy foods could lead to dementia.
The 15-year study of 4,582 Chinese adults over 55 showed a decline in cognitive functions among those who indulged in over 50 grams of chili daily.
However, another study presented in April at the American Society for Investigative Pathology on Saturday by researchers from Marshall University in West Virginia also found that the spicy compound in chilies may also slow down the growth of tumors and spread of cancer cells.
Rare Creature Photographed Alive In The Wild For The First Time Ever
Advances in the methods used by researchers to watch wildlife have allowed for the photographing of a rare creature whose image had never been captured in the wild before.
Researchers in the West African nation of Togo were able to spot the rare Walter’s duiker, a rare species of petite African antelope, for the first time in the wild thanks to camera traps equipped with motion sensors.
In addition to the Walter’s duiker, the camera traps were also able to discover rare species of aardvarks and a mongoose, reports Gizmodo.
At a time when the extinction of entire species is becoming more common worldwide, such devices should help conservationists not only preserve creatures sought by bushmeat hunters but also spot rare animals whose presence is elusive for human observers. In the past, biologists were forced to rely on the same hunters for information.
“Camera traps are a game changer when it comes to biodiversity survey fieldwork,” said University of Oxford wildlife biologist Neil D’Cruze.
“I’ve spent weeks roughing it in tropical forests seemingly devoid of any large mammal species,” D’Cruze continued. “Yet when you fire up the laptop and stick in the memory card from camera traps that have been sitting there patiently during the entire trip—and see species that were there with you the entire time —it’s like being given a glimpse into a parallel world.”
The Walter’s duiker was discovered in 2010 when specimens of bushmeat were compared to other duiker specimens. The new images of the creature are the first to have been seen.
Rare species like Walter’s duiker are often not listed as “endangered” by groups like the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to a lack of data.
Formerly Homeless Man Enjoys New Life In First 3D-Printed Home In US
A formerly homeless man is now enjoying his advanced years in a comfortable, entirely 3D-printed tiny home – the very first of its kind in the entire U.S.
Tim Shea, 70, has struggled for much of his life with substance abuse, addiction, and homelessness.
However, the previously unhoused man is now the first person to live in a 3D-printed tiny home, which is now being touted as a model of engineering and sustainability, reports Green Matters.
The 400-square-foot 3D-printed tiny home was printed by nonprofit New Story and construction technology company ICON in the Austin, Texas, area in March 2018 before Shea moved into the location in September.
In 2019, New Story and ICON have also printed a similar community of tiny homes in Mexico, hoping to make good on the use of the technology as a tool to provide homes to the extremely poor.
According to Shea, his new domicile has made all the difference in the world.
“When I found out I’d be the first person in America to move into a 3D-printed home, I thought it was pretty awesome,” Shea told NY Post. “The very people I used to run away from, I’m running to. If you’ve been on both sides of the fence, you know some people just need a little encouragement and support.”
From start to finish, the process of printing and assembling these homes takes only 48 hours and relies on only 70 to 80 percent of the raw building material that conventional housing requires.
Company Will Pay $2,400 to Those Willing to Go On a ‘Digital Detox’ for 24 Hours
The ongoing pandemic has left many of us staring at a screen for far too long, be it a television screen, smartphone, or computer monitor.
However, one company is seeking to find out whether we can make it through a full day without looking at a screen – and volunteers could receive a reward of $2,400 if they accept the challenge.
Reviews.org is hosting a new “24-Hour Digital Detox Challenge” that will allow participants to take the ultimate test of their ability to abstain from staring into the black mirror and report back the results.
“Are you burnt out from doom scrolling on your phone, re-watching old sitcoms, and trying to maintain your sanity during the pandemic?” the Salt Lake City, Utah-based company recently announced. “Have you always wanted to win reality competitions like American Ninja Warrior, but you’ve been too busy trying to beat Mario Kart and Mortal Kombat instead?”
The challenge is open to anyone 18 or older who is eligible to work in the United States, and the participants will be announced on March 29 on the company’s YouTube channel.
Upon being chosen, participants will be able to accept or decline the challenge after two weeks before picking a day that fits into their schedule. They can spend their day however they please, but they must agree to abstain for a full 24 hours from mobile devices, gaming devices, smartwatches, TVs, computers and other wearables as well as smart home devices. The digital display of your alarm clock, microwave, or other home appliances won’t count.
“Detox challengers” will also receive a safe to store their devices in, as well as a $200 gift card to purchase a tech-free survival kit that can consist of writing stationery, books, board games and other decidedly analog devices.
“We have a feeling someone out there needs a break,” the company wrote in its announcement, noting that since the start of the pandemic people have been staring at screens at an unprecedented rate.
Those interested can fill out a short application for the challenge here, but do it quickly! Applications close on March 26.
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