Warning – spicy post ahead!
Ever wonder why spicy food produces the hot, burning sensation in your mouth even if the food is at room temperature? This feeling is thanks to the chemical capsaicin. Capsaicin binds to a receptor on your tongue that is actually responsible for preventing you from burning your tongue on hot food. Since the chemical from spicy food can bind to this receptor, a burning sensation is produced.
So why should we eat something that makes us feel like our mouth is on fire?
Many spicy foods also contain anti-inflammatory properties and add intense flavor to foods. Some spicy foods include:
- Chili peppers
- Red pepper flakes
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Hot sauce
What is the best way to cool down after trying something that is too spicy? The fat in dairy products, milk, and nut butters have been shown to help dissolve the capsaicin and calm the heat.
These spicy ingredients are available year-round to add flavor to your dishes. Don’t worry, so are dairy products and nut butters to help your mouth recover afterward!
Are you a fan of spicy foods? What is your favorite way to spice up your recipes?