The lockdown could provide people with the chance to pack potentially life saving chilli peppers into their meals, say heart experts.
A study by US scientists found eating plenty of the spicy ingredient slashes the risk of a premature death by a quarter.
In particular, regular consumers are 26 and 23 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cancer, respectively.
Victoria Taylor, nutrition lead at the British Heart Foundation, welcomed the findings from the Ohio team.
She said: “Many of us are cooking more than usual at the moment and experimenting with herbs and spices can be a great way to liven up your home-cooked meals and add variety, in a healthy and nutritious way.
“Fresh and dried chilli, black pepper or lemon juice are all healthier ways to add flavour to your meals which can help us to cut down on salt. Watch out for ready-made chilli sauces as well as spice mixes and rubs though, as these are often high in salt.
“Use nutritional information on packs to help you find low salt options as too much salt is linked to high blood pressure which is a risk factor for heart and circulatory diseases. If you want to try cooking up some healthy recipes this winter, the BHF website has some great suggestions.”
Senior author Dr Bo Xu, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute, presented the study to an American Heart Association (AHA) virtual meeting.
It was based on health and dietary records of more than 570,000 people across the world – the biggest of its kind.
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