August 2019

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Spicy Food? (National Hot and Spicy Food Day, Aug 19)

For people with a low tolerance for spice, eating these foods can actually be pretty painful. This is because of the chemical compound, Capsaicin — which is found is spicy foods, like hot peppers. Capsaicin binds to pain receptors on your tongue called TRPV1, and warning signals are sent to the brain. The brain then initiates a “cooling off” period to clear out the threat of the spiciness. This causes teary eyes, sweating and a runny nose. Why do some people love spicy food? The pain response triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine, which creates a feeling of euphoria. Is spicy food good for your body? One study in the journal PLOS One found that those who ate hot peppers had a 13 percent reduced risk of dying from heart disease or stroke.