Why Do So Many People Love To Consume Spicy Food?

Spices are a part of food, which has a long history of use for flavoring, coloring, and preserving food, also used for a medical purpose (1) (2).

Hot spicy trigger our brain into thinking our mouth is on fire, but actually, there is no fire or heat in a pepper.

Most spicy comes from one of two chemicals called Allylisothiocyanante which we found in mustard and wasabi and capsaicin which we found in peppers.

NOTE: Capsaicin is also used by plants to fend off predators like ants and fungi, who destroy their seeds before they had the chance to spread out.

Capsaicin binds to pain receptors on our nerves called TRPV1, when chili trigger TRPV1, it sends the signal to the brain, to react as fire in the mouth.

In this response our body tries to cool itself off with include – face turning red, eyes tearing up, nose running, and sweating.

What Happen When We Eat Spicy Food?

Receptors in the throat, mouth, and tongue detect the presence of the capsaicin they send pain signals to the other part of the body.

When you eat capsaicin, your body release endorphins which are natural stress-fighter, and dopamine (a neurotransmitter chemical).

  • Endorphins are a feel-good chemical hormone because they act as a pain reliever and boost happiness.
  • Dopamine is a type of hormone made in the brain, responsible for happiness, pleasure, and reward feelings.

Check Out – Dopamine Vs Serotonin, Difference, Function, Effect On Health

Why do People Love Spicy Food?

Actually, nobody really knows why people love to eat spicy food and peppers.

Archaeologists have found spices like mustard along with human artifacts dating as far back as 23,000 years ago, but they don’t whether spices were used for medication or just for taste.

A 2015 research team, found a 6000-year-old crockpot lined with charred fish and meat also contained mustard.

Another theory shows that humans add spices to food to kill off bacteria.

Some studies have shown that spicy food is mostly developed in warmer climates. but why do people love to eat spicy food?

These answers are still unknown, but shown studies have shown that people who eat spicy food are like riding roller coasters, they enjoy the thrill, even if the fire sensation is unpleasant.

Other studies have shown that those who love to eat spicy food are more likely to enjoy other adrenaline-rich activities, like skydiving, bungee jumping, watching horror movies, etc.

Sensitivity of Spicy Food

You may notice that not all spicy food is spicy, and the difference lies in the types of compounds involved (4).

The capsaicin and piperine, found in black pepper and chili peppers are made up of longer, heavier molecules called alkylamines, and those stay in the mouth.

NOTE: Mustard, wasabi, and horseradish are made up of smaller molecules, called isothiocyanates, that easily go up into our sinuses, that is why wasabi burns our nose.

The spices rating happens on the Scoville scale, which measures how much its capsaicin content can be diluted before the heat is no longer detectable to humans.

The sweet bell pepper gets a 0 Scoville heat rating, while Tabasco sauce comes in b/w 1,200-24,00 units (5).

But the spiciest pepper is come out on top which includes – the Trinidad moruga scorpion and the Carolina reaper, which comes between 1.5 and 2 million Scoville heat units.

Which is approx half the units found in pepper spray.

The taste of spicy food may even be genetic if you think you train your tolerance for spices. nope, Pain doesn’t get better, you just get better at tolerance.

According to TED-ED people who love to eat spicy foods don’t rate the burn any more painful than those who don’t.

Pros and Cons

Pros

An ecological study showed that populations with higher consumption of spices have a lower incidence of cancer (6) (7).

Another study showed that those who consumed spicy foods 6 or 7 days a week showed a 14% relative risk reduction in total mortality, compared to those who ate spicy foods less than once a week.

A study shows that red pepper decrease appetite and energy intake in Asian origin and in white people it may reduce the risk of obesity and overweight (8) (9).

It also suggests that the antioxidant and antiplatelet properties of capsaicin play a vital role in regulating metabolism, and positively affect the cardiovascular system (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15).

Check Out – Health Benefits Of Eating Spicy Food, And Side Effects

Cons

research study showed that consuming too much capsaicin may irritate and lead to feeling discomfort in the lining of the stomach.

According to Mayo Clinic, too much spicy food can also irritate your throat, lead to swelling, a horse, muffled voice.

If you consumed too much spicy food, and you are not that powerful to tolerate spice, it may also lead to

  • Develop blisters in the throat
  • vomit
  • go into anaphylactic shock
  • Crying

According to Healthline, eating too many spicy foods leads to vomiting, burning diarrhea, and nausea.

BOTTOM LINE

Capsaicin binds to pain receptors on our nerves called TRPV1, when chili trigger TRPV1, it sends the signal to the brain, to react as fire in the mouth.

Spicy food contains anti-obesity, antihypertensive, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that would generally protect all specific systems.

Healthytalk8

Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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