You've probably known at least a few people who love eating hot peppers. The spicier the better, they say.

In fact, it might even be you.

The good news is that spicy peppers are actually extremely healthy for you! How often does it happen that something you crave can actually benefit your health?

We aren't making this up - scientists have studied them and not only do they offer a ton of benefits, but they may even lengthen one's lifespan.

Researchers analyzed data collected for the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey III, a survey that followed over 16,000 Americans for as long as 23 years. The experts took note of the prevalence of hot peppers in the their diets and compared it to the number of deaths and causes of death in the study sample. Along with finding hot pepper consumption to be linked to a 13 percent lower death risk overall, they discovered it to be protective against some cases of heart disease.

The substance in hot peppers that's responsible for making them "hot," capsaicin, is also responsible for peppers' many healthy benefits. The scientists hypothesized that its connection to improving blood flow through the heart and helping to prevent obesity is at least part of the reason it contributes to longevity.

In addition to helping one live longer, experts have found that fresh hot peppers are loaded with antioxidants to help to reduce inflammation and ultimately relieve some types of pain as well. They can lessen congestion, protect eye health and even help speed your metabolism so you can lose weight easier too.

So go ahead and indulge - this is one craving that's good for you!

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