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HOUSTON, TX– We know variety is the spice of life. But now it seems “spice” may add more time to your life.

Chinese researchers looked at nearly half a million people and found those who ate spicy food six or seven times a week were 14% less likely to kick the bucket than those who ate it less than once a week.

Houstonian Conya Barreras, 51, says she spices up everything she eats, “Eating spicy food … just makes me happy. It energizes me.”

“I use a lot of hot sauce on my food at home, so I probably do eat (spicy food) six or seven times a week, counting that,” says 81-year-old Winston Crowder, while enjoying lunch at the Cajun Stop restaurant on Jefferson. “Maybe that’s what made me live this long already.”

The study found spicing up your diet cuts down your chances of heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and infections.

“Spicy people like spicy food,” explains Cajun Stop owner Lisa Carnley. “I find that the more vibrant people that come in here, they seem to be louder and they’re more aggressive. I don’t know if the food makes them more aggressive, but people who eat spicy food, they have very dominant personalities.”

Which begs the question– which came first? The spicy personality or the spicy food?

Sounds like it’s time for another study.