For many people -- especially the alpha dogs of the world -- hot sauce is more than a mere condiment, it's practically a way of life. But, apparently, the fiery red substance doesn't just make your food taste way better, it's actually incredibly good for you, too, scientists say. That's right, pounding a dozen buffalo wings actually comes with some health benefits.
As reported by TIME, two of the world's top pepper experts have suggested that dousing your food with hot sauce can easily (and deliciously) improve your diet and overall health. In particular, scientists point to the active ingredient in peppers, capsaicin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cancer-fighting properties.
Additionally, a study published this year looked at data on the health and diets of half a million Chinese adults and determined that those who ate spicy foods three to seven times a week live longer and have a reduced risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease by 14%.
David Popovich, an expert on peppers and a senior lecturer at Massey University in New Zealand, told TIME that he puts extra-hot hot sauce "on everything." Better yet, Popovich recommends throwing hot sauce on foods with a little fact, saying capsaicin is "a fat-soluble molecule," which means your body can absorb more when it's eaten with fat, than say, vegetables. Popovich's own research shows that putting capsaicin on cancer cells reduces cell growth by forcing the cells to die and become recycled into new cells.
Something to keep in mind next time you're feelin' the burn.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and feels like a big order of "healthy" buffalo wings are in order. Send news tips to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.