Spicy Food: How It Affects the Body
The taste preferences of all people are quite different, but at the same time, they may well be classified. Among them, it is easy to distinguish lovers of sweets, meat, fruits and other options. Spicy is one of the popular tastes. But as hot dishes with spicy additives are, the controversy around their benefits or harms is just as intense.
What makes food spicy?
You may be surprised but we feel spicy, burning food with special receptors in our language – temperature. It is thanks to them that after mint there is a “draft in the mouth”, after menthol toothpaste or chewing gum, there is also a feeling of coolness, and after a good portion of Asian dishes there will be a feeling that someone has made a huge fire on the tongue. These receptors are sensitive to the substance capsaicin, which excites them and makes it possible to experience a burning or pungent taste. A prime example of its high content is cayenne pepper, chili or jalapenos, which are used in abundance in Mexican cuisine. But this substance does not only affect the tongue. The fact is that capsaicin not only causes a sensation of warmth or even heat, but also causes a strong rush of blood to the surface with which it interacted – be it the skin on the arm, tongue or stomach lining. And this last interaction raises a lot of fears and suspicions that spicy food may be unsafe.
Spicy food: Negative effects on health
The first answer is simple: in the absence of a sense of proportion in the meal. That is why further we will consider only those risks that may await us even with moderate consumption of spicy dishes.
Some people believe that burning food can cause diseases of the stomach and duodenum. However, this is true only for those cases when a person already has a disease in a non-acute stage or is simply not yet identified. Therefore, they are not recommended for people with gastritis or ulcers, just so as not to provoke inflammatory processes.
Another unpleasant effect of “fiery” food is heartburn. A strong rush of blood causes an increase in the secretion of gastric juice and its excess is thrown into the esophagus, causing an unpleasant burning sensation. But not all people are subject to this phenomenon.
And finally, the dulling of taste sensations, which occurs with regular and abundant consumption of spicy foods. But the harmful effect also has a downside to the coin.
Spicy food: the benefits
It is due to its irritating property that spicy food attracts a large volume of blood to the location. Thanks to this, the condition is facilitated with colds, the discharge of sputum is improved in case of bronchitis, acute respiratory infections and other conditions accompanied by cough.
Another stimulating effect contributes to faster weight loss by activating the cardiovascular system, accelerating blood flow, removing toxins and excess fluids from tissues. The only condition is that the food should not be too salty, otherwise salt will still provoke the preservation and even increase in edema.
In addition, scientists have come to the conclusion that spicy foods contribute to the production of serotonin, which can contribute to improving mood. So a Mexican salad can be a good alternative to a box of chocolates in case of heartache.
So, to summarize: spicy food helps to revitalize the body, tones up, helps to fight excess weight for those people who do not have an ulcer or gastritis. It can help fight colds and depression. However, it still should not be abused, since such a diet cannot be the basis for a correct or healthy diet.