Why does a burning mouth feel good? Eating Chilli and the Hedonic Reversal.
January 8, 2014
I grew up with a very sensitive palate, reluctant to even give the innocuous black pepper a go, let alone chilli. Yet as I grew older and the option to avoid it became unpopular at dinner parties, (if you wanted to eat) I grew to like it and have since joined the brigade of cooks who like to throw a little in most dishes.
Common belief has always been that the more you eat, the more you de-sensitise your taste buds. Yet recent studies have brought up a different understanding, that we don’t de-sensitise, we simply learn to like the pain. It’s sometimes called Hedonic Reversal or Benign Masochism and it seems that humans, especially as they grow older just like to live on the wild side.
While as a child, our body would tell us that any pain we feel is bad, as we grow older we start to enjoy the thrill of it. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University looked further into this connection, in relation to personality types, and found that the chilli lovers were also the sensation seekers.
However, like watching a horror film or going on an adventure, it’s not that we just like fear or burning sensations; it’s the body’s defensive reaction that we also enjoy. A healthy hit of chilli gets paid off with a secretion of endorphins that can lead to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones and enhancement of the immune response.
So not only does eating chilli give you the potential to feel good, it’s also bursting with healthy nutrients. They’re a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A and ß-Carotene. Rich in minerals like potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium and to top it all off, it doesn’t even contain cholesterol.
Whatever your reasons for adding some spice to your life, it’s a great idea for both the mind and the body!
What to order at O Organic Produce :
Have some fresh chilli on the side with any dish you order, just ask the staff!