The documented health benefits from hot peppers continues to grow at a break-neck speed, similar to the increasing popularity of consuming hot foods in various forms.
The heat and health benefits comes from a chemical called capsaicin.
Historically, spicy additions to food helped prevent spoilage in warm climates before the invention of refrigeration. Capsaicin’s anti-microbial properties inhibit as much as 75% of bacteria growth.
People from cultures who lived and survived due to the use of various spices passed down to the next of kin spicy recipes and taste buds desiring extra zing in food.
Adding hot peppers, hot sauces and hot powders to food continues to protect us from food poisoning even though we now refrigerate food. To maximize these health benefits, eating the hottest pepper would magnify these effects.