Chili and Health

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Hi there, you know where I am currently living?

I live in Laos.

You know what they love to eat in Laos…chilli’s. Lots and lots of raw chilli’s!

What they do is order some food like noodle soup, (called fur and super delicious), and then get a plate of various vegetables and a little saucer of raw chili.

They then proceed to dip said raw chili’s into some shrimp paste, (I love Lao food but draw the line at this shrimp paste)!

I will tell you what else they do. They will chop up raw chili into everything they eat. My wife actually from Laos and with every meal she orders an extra side of raw chili.

Let me explain!

We live in a really pretty little town called Luang Prabang that is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a former French colony. As a result, it is full of delicious French restaurants serving tasty, tasty cuisine.

They also have lots of different cuts of steak including water buffalo (a bit tough, but tasty), which kind of inspired me to write a post about the 4 different cuts of beef steak and how to wield them.

I included certain sauces you can use on them, but they are all perfect for any of the Hot Sauce Willies hot sauces – perhaps they can recommend one of their favorites for each type?

You what my wife does?

She orders some chilli and slathers the food in the raw chilli mixed with soy sauce.

Now I am not talking about this in a mocking way rather than in the East, they love chili. I mean really love it. Maybe as much as I love tomato sauce and fries?

Anyway, the point here is that my wife is super healthy and when I look around, most of the general Lao population are also super healthy.

I see the older folks kneeling down and squatting in peculiar positions, and none of them have any creaking or cracking knees or joints when they move!

Heck, I would say that my dad is a healthy(ish) kind of guy, yet he still has knee issues. My granddaddy was also a very healthy specimen but still needed to have one of his knees replaced.

So what’s up with that?

One conclusion that I have come to in my rather odd quest to find out why Lao people have such great joints even when they are pushing 80 years +, is that it must be something to do with chili?

So chili’s, or more specifically the Capsaicin contained within them, seems to have an anti-inflammatory effect on our joints.


There is some very complicated science behind it and I won’t go into too much detail seeing as this is a Hot Sauce blog called Hot Sauce Willies, (love intended), but suffice to say, the effect is that it somehow reduces or even eliminates the effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Now let me just interject here by saying that I am not a doctor or any kind of specialist, and I am also not saying that if you go out and bulk buy a metric ton of Hot Sauce Willies terrifyingly spicy sauce you will somehow become immune to joint inflammation, but I am saying that there has been a pretty substantial amount of research done and it all points to good things.

As I said at the start of this post, I have also observed many Asian people without suffering any kind of joint pain.

In fact, my wife’s mother lives in a super remote village on the border of Vietnam and she is on far half 70 years old.

But she still farms and feeds her ducks and chickens and cooks and cleans without even so much of muttering of a complaint.

She puts me to shame I’m embarrassed to say!

OK, so let’s wrap this rambling up and get to the point.

Chilli has been tested in laboratories and shown to be beneficial for your joints.

In Southeast Asia where they eat about 300 pounds of chili every 3 days, the people, especially the older generation, seem to show no signs of knee cracking when they get up or sit down or just generally move about.