Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sriracha Chemistry: How Hot Sauces Perk Up Your Food And Your Mood

Anyone who has ever drizzled, doused or — heck — drenched their food with Sriracha knows the hot sauce can make almost any dish taste better.
But could these spicy condiments also make us a little happier?
To keep the tongue from getting burned, the brain triggers the sensation of pain. Something like, "Holy cow! Wash this Sriracha out of my mouth immediately!"
But your nervous system isn't going to just let you suffer with your mouth on fire. So it also launches a whole series of actions to help us deal with the pain. It releases endorphins — the morphine-like compounds that give you a natural high. And it makes the nerves on our tongue more tolerant to pain.
In other words, spicy peppers may hurt at first, but then they have an analgesic effect.

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