You’ve been eating spicy foods your entire life, but now that you’re in grad school, you realize how much you don’t know about them. The first time you tried a hot sauce was probably … Read More You might love spicy foods, but some people can taste the heat too much. In fact, intense heat can be so distressing that some people have the physiological response of “itching” too spicy foods. This is called “super-sensitivity” and is a common condition known as “Burmese red syndrome.” You probably never knew you had it until your mouth started watering from the memory! If you are experiencing this reaction to spices, even mild ones, many scientists believe it is an evolutionary response based on our hunter-gatherer past. Over time, we developed a greater sensitivity to hot spices like peppers than cold ones like alcohol and sugar. These days, almost everyone experiences some degree of hypersensitivity to pungent flavors—particularly those from hot peppers or starchy vegetables such as yams or potatoes.
Why Your Mouth Is Suddenly Sensitive To Spicy Food?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the symptoms of spicy food could vary from person to person. However, some possible causes of being sensitive to spicy food could include: eating spicy foods frequently, being sensitive to chili or cayenne peppers, or experiencing an unpleasant heat sensation in the mouth.
Why Your Mouth Is Suddenly Sensitive To Spicy Food?
1. Eating spicy foods frequently.
Spicy foods are a part of many cultures’ cuisines, and the more you eat them, the more your body becomes accustomed to them. Over time, your body may have developed a heightened sensitivity to spicy food, causing it to react negatively when you eat it.
2. Being sensitive to chili or cayenne peppers.
It’s possible that you have an unusually high sensitivity to chili and cayenne pepper due to genetics or dietary factors (e.g., eating chili peppers regularly). If so, then eating spicy foods may cause your mouth to burn even after only a small amount is eaten—a condition known as “capsaicin-induced mucosal burn” (CIMB).
3. Experiencing an unpleasant heat sensation in the mouth when eating spicy foods.
Certain people are particularly sensitive to the heat of hot spices—and this can be very uncomfortable! Some people experience this when they eat spicy food, while others experience it when they simply think about eating spicy food (a condition known as “auto sensitization”). Whatever the cause of your hypersensitivity to spicy foods, most people who experience CIMB are able to reduce their sensitivity by gradually reducing or eliminating their consumption of chili peppers over time.
What Are Some Possible Side Effects Of Spicy Foods?
1. A bad reaction to spicy foods.
If you experience a bad reaction when you eat spicy food, it’s possible that your body is becoming accustomed to the heat, causing it to react negatively when you eat more spicy food than usual (a condition known as “habituation”). If this is the case, eating less spicy food will help reduce your sensitivity (a condition known as “withdrawal”). However, if habituation is the cause of your sensitivity and you continue to eat spicy foods after habituation has occurred, then you may experience a full-blown allergic reaction.
2. A burning mouth when eating spicy foods.
If habituation is the cause of your sensitivity and you continue to eat spicy foods after habituation has occurred, then you may experience a full-blown allergic reaction.
3. A skin rash or hives on the hands or feet due to an allergic reaction caused by chili peppers or cayenne peppers in chili pepper products such as salsa or guacamole.
A skin rash or hives on your hands and/or feet are the most common side effects associated with allergy caused by chili peppers in chili pepper products such as salsa or guacamole; however, it is possible that you could experience a skin rash elsewhere on your body, such as on the palms of your hands (a condition known as “palmoplantar pustulosis”) or on your face (a condition known as “prurigo nodularis”).
How to Eat Healthy Without a Taste Buds Map?
Learn to read food labels.
The amount of spice in food is sometimes listed on the food’s nutrition label. In addition, if you have a specific allergy or sensitivity to a particular food, be sure to check the ingredient list for any spices that may be present.
Eat foods that are milder in taste than you are used to.
If you’re used to eating spicy foods and now want to eat healthier, it might help your overall health if you start by eating milder-tasting foods that don’t contain as much spice as your usual spicy foods. For example, if you usually eat chili peppers as part of a spicy meal, try eating chili peppers on their own or with other milder-tasting ingredients (such as tomatoes) instead of with other more flavorful ingredients (such as cheese).
Try new flavors and recipes at home.
You can also experiment with new flavors and recipes at home by trying dishes such as fish tacos with no lemon or jalapeno pepper salsa instead of regular salsa—or even by preparing a dish without any spices at all!
Try a new spice.
It might help to try a new spice if you’re used to eating spicy foods and now want to eat healthier. For example, if you usually eat chili peppers in your spicy meals, try eating chili peppers on their own or with other milder-tasting ingredients (such as tomatoes) instead of with other more flavorful ingredients (such as cheese).
Which Spices Cause Your Mouth To Tingle?
Capsaicin is the ingredient in chili peppers responsible for their spicy taste. It is derived from the seeds of the chili pepper plant and is found in small amounts in other food products, including chocolate and hot dogs.
Cantharidin is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in some types of mushrooms and produces a burning sensation when it comes into contact with mucous membranes such as the mouth.
In addition to being found in mushrooms, cantharidin can also be found in certain types of beetles, spiders, and scorpions; however, its presence in these species does not make them poisonous to humans.
Cantharidin has been used for centuries as a skin depilatory (to remove hair) and as a cosmetic under the name “Spanish Fly” or “French Fly” (because it was once thought to be made from fly larvae). Today, it remains only as an ingredient used to flavor certain foods such as candy and tobacco products.
Naringin is a flavonoid found in a variety of plants including citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines. In addition to being contained in citrus fruit, naringin can also be found in certain types of plants such as blackberries, cranberries, and the stems of some types of ginger. Naringin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation associated with arthritis.
Eugenol is an extract from cloves (the same spice that gives cloves their flavor) and is also found in other foods including apples, onions, and cinnamon bark. Eugenol has been used as a flavoring agent for centuries because it produces a pleasant aroma when burned as incense or used to flavor certain foods such as gingerbread cookies or cough drops. Additionally, eugenol has been shown to have anti-cancer properties due to its ability to inhibit the growth and proliferation of prostate cancer cells in laboratory experiments conducted by researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).
Spices are incredibly versatile. They can add so much flavor to your food, or give it a fun kick that you didn’t expect. Because of this, it is easy to overthink the amount of spice you should be eating. But remember, too much of anything isn’t good for you. If you’re experiencing this reaction to spicy foods, you should probably look into how you can decrease your spice intake. Many foods are now milder than they used to be, and you should try to get in touch with your taste buds to see what they detect that you don’t.