Even the most spice-adverse individuals might be reaching for that bottle of Sriracha after hearing this news. Results of a recent study revealed that those who ate spicy foods (even as little as once or twice a week) lowered their risk of premature death and diseases like cancer, heart disease or type 2 diabetes. Researchers have yet to prove the reason why but they believe that fresh spices improve cholesterol levels, maintain healthy bacteria in the gut, regulate inflammation and reduce oxidative stress. Spices also tend to be high in antioxidants with peppers containing a potent dose of vitamin C as well as capsaicin (an active compound in chili peppers), which reduces inflammation. That said, it sounds like spicing up your eggs, meats or pasta sauces in the future couldn’t hurt. And if you can’t handle spicy foods, ease in slowly with a mild spice, such as poblano or ancho chiles. What are some of your favorite spicy dishes? Tell us in the comments!