Research published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE this month corroborated previous studies that found consuming spicy red peppers plays a role in lowering mortality rates. The study, which was conducted at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, researched 16,179 individuals who completed an 81-question dietary survey between the years of 1988 and 1994. Researchers found that over the following 19 years, 34 percent of participants had died. However, those who reported a higher consumption of hot red chili peppers had a substantially lower death rate at only 22 percent. Scientists concluded that the “consumption of hot red chili peppers was associated with a 13 percent reduction in the instantaneous hazard of death,” and revealed a strong connection between chili pepper consumption and a reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. Researchers identified that capsaicin—the component that gives chili peppers their heat—may also lead to protection against obesity, and decreased risk of cardiovascular, metabolic, and lung diseases. This study adds to a growing body of research around the benefits of consuming a variety of plants, and the role of a plant-based diet in preventing and treating disease.