If jalapeños and other spicy foods make you sweat, you’re in luck because they are actually cooling you down!
Chili peppers contain, capsaicin, an oil-like compound that makes them spicy. The hotter the pepper, the higher the capsaicin content.
We can thank Native Americans for early experimentation with the chili pepper plant and capsaicin’s variety of uses in food and even medicine.
Many people experience a physical response when eating foods that contain capsaicin.
According to the American Chemical Society, although capsaicin doesn’t actually generate heat, it triggers pain receptors in your tongue, mouth, and back of your throat that send a signal to the brain, which is interpreted as heat. Your brain’s natural reaction to this heat is to engage your body’s built-in cooling system by generating sweat. Your body cools down as the sweat evaporates.
While everyone’s body might not have the same reaction to capsaicin, most people will experience the cooling effect. It’s no wonder why areas with hotter climates are known for their spicy foods!
It is important to note that in this case, more is not always better, while peppers have many health benefits beyond triggering your cooling system, you can build a tolerance to spicy foods and make yourself sick by ingesting too much of a good thing.
Start off on the lower end of the scale with these recipes from our NOAH dieticians that are healthy, tasty, and bound to cool you off!
Fresh spring rolls known as goi cuon, made with carrots, lettuce, red pepper and purple cabbage served with a sweet chili sauce are fun to make. They are a quick healthful bite that is great as a snack or appetizer.
Take your pork chops to a whole new level with this spicy and flavorful chipotle adobo sauce. I’ve been known to make a few extra chops just so I have leftovers for tacos later in the week when are nights are busier than usual and there just isn’t as much time to cook. And besides, who doesn’t love tacos?
These baked stuffed jalapeños are an amazing and super easy appetizer to make when entertaining guests. They also make a great snack that is low in carbs and high in protein.