Secret to youth: Spice it up

Last Updated Aug 6, 2015 7:13 AM EDT

CHICAGO -- The secret to youth may not lie in a fountain, but in a frying pan, loaded with spices.

At Chicago's Frontera Grill, co-owner and chef Rick Bayless has always believed in spicing it up.

"I eat a lot of spicy food because it makes me feel good," he said.

Now this new dietary study has noticed people who ate spicy food one to two times a week had a 10 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, cancer or diabetes than those who ate spicy food less than once a week.

Experts say Capsaicin, the main ingredient in chili peppers, has been shown to reduce the kind of inflammation that can lead to the development of some diseases. The plentiful pepper is already a phenomenon online.

"When we first started people would say which is the spiciest dish on the menu because they wanted to avoid it," said Bayless. "Now they say what's the spiciest dish on the menu because that's our biggest seller."

Put peppers before a patron and the attraction is powerful. As a correspondent it's important to know whether this will render me speechless.

"Bite into it like it's an apple," Bayless coaches me.

But it was actually a habanero pepper. I asked for some water.

The study says clinical trials would be needed to draw a clear link between peppers and health. But the connection between peppers and heat is firmly established.

My whole mouth is on fire, but I may live longer.

  • Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.