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Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Beat The Heat: How To Enjoy Spicy Foods

From Mexican food to Indian, spicy food is delicious and satisfying. Many people love the burn of chili peppers and other strong spices, but some are a little more sensitive and have difficulty eating hot, spicy food. This is a shame because many health benefits come from eating spicy food, including improved breathing, less fat storage, and reduced cravings. If you want to enjoy the benefits (both to your health and your taste buds) of spicy food, below are some ways to help counter your sensitive palate:

1. Work Your Way Up:

Do not start with the spiciest item on the menu; you will just end up with a burning mouth and watery eyes. Start with something fairly mild that you know you can handle and gradually increase the spiciness of the item from there, or order a spicy item as a side dish rather than your main meal.

It also helps to eat spicy food slowly, particularly if you’re new to it. According to TheKitchn.com, you should limit the amount of capsaicin, the chemical in chili peppers that makes them hot. Eating slowly will keep the amount tolerable rather than overwhelming your system with heat.

2. Dull the Pain with Dairy:

If you are not used to eating spicy food, but plan on trying something with some kick, make sure that you have something on hand to cool your mouth. When it comes to spicy food, water is not as effective. Chemicals mix with oils in the food, and they cannot be dissolved with water. Instead, dairy products are more effective when it comes to cooling your mouth. A glass of milk or a spoonful of sour cream are great for minimizing intense burning. If you don’t have dairy on hand, lime and cilantro accompany many spicy dishes and are also helpful. 

3. Go for Texture:

When your mouth is burning, sometimes what your brain needs is a distraction. Rough foods like crackers or starchy foods like bread and rice offer your brain a different sensation to focus on. The starch in these foods can also help absorb some of the heat-causing capsaicin, minimizing the time you spend trying to cool your mouth. 

While spicy food is not for everyone, if you want to enjoy the excellent flavor peppers add to food and the health benefits that come from the heat, following the steps above can help increase your tolerance and develop your palate. Start slow, choose dairy, have a variety of textures, and enjoy!. 

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