Adults who ate spicy foods almost every day had a 14% reduced risk for death from any cause compared with those who ate these foods less than once a week, according to a recent seven-year study of nearly 500,000 people. Most reported eating fresh and/or dried chili peppers, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce risk for some cancers, high blood pressure and heart disease. Other research has found garlic and ginger to also be healthful spices.

Li Limging, MD, MPH, professor of public health, Peking University Health Science Center, China.