Chili is rich in vitamin C, carotene, and fiber, often used as spices to cook with dishes. This familiar spice contained many interesting secrets.
However, spicy is not a taste like sour, salty, sweet but a sensation of the body. However, due to the special feeling when eating chili comes and mainly affects the mouth and tongue, many people mistakenly think that spicy is one of the basic flavors of nature.
“Fool” the brain
Why is the spicy taste of chili so attractive to so many people? According to the BBC, that is due to the composition of chili peppers contains capsaicin – an oxidant that works to prevent food spoilage.
Capsaicin’s natural job is to repel animals that can harm pepper plants. However, capsaicin is the agent that helps people eat chili peppers easier.
Capsaicin can be involved in the action of a particular protein (TRPV1) on the surface of nerve cells that regulates pain and heat. Normally, TRPV1 is at rest unless awakened by a thermostat above 42 degrees Celsius.
In the human body, TRPV1 is present everywhere, in the nerve cells, in the skin as well as in the digestive system – meaning that the spicy nature of chili not only occurs in the oral cavity but also can affect all over the body.
When stimulated, TRPV1 will signal a feeling of heat and pain to the brain to help out reflexes to avoid danger to the body.
When the body is exposed to capsaicin for a long enough time, the nerve cells sending pain signals to the brain almost “give up”, and the chemicals in the cells are gradually depleted and unable to cope. with stimulation from capsaicin.
In other words, the body has gotten used to the hotness at work. This explains why during a meal, at first, chili can cause burning, but if you continue to eat this type of chili soon, the spicy feeling will be greatly reduced.
Not only that, the capsaicin in peppers stimulates the secretion of endorphins in the body. Endorphins have long been viewed as a “happy” chemical that often creates a pleasant and refreshing sensation for the body.
Even the endorphins also make many people “addicted” to chili in every meal, so without chili, the dish will be bland, not delicious.
Drinking water can help reduce spicily?
According to the Science ABC page, the natural reaction of many people when they are hot is to drink plenty of water, but it usually does not help much.
Water often takes away the heat in the oral cavity radiating when eaten, but not “annihilated” the main reason is capsaicin because capsaicin can be dissolved in alcohol and fat, but insoluble in water.
Whereas milk often contains casein – a chemical structure compound that can suck capsaicin out of the receptors. Therefore, drinking milk while eating spicy food can make it much more comfortable.
In life, some people also use chili to relieve pain. When chili in direct contact with the skin, people will feel a burning sensation as capsaicin has activated TRPV1 in nerves in the skin.
But when the initial burning sensation passes and the nerve cells sending pain signals to the brain are exhausted, the skin will not only not feel the capsaicin, but also no longer be able to feel other pain.
Many animals are so afraid of chili peppers, how did this plant spread the seeds? It is thanks to the bird. The structure of TRPV1 in bird and mammal body is different. In birds, capsaicin is completely unable to penetrate and activate this protein.