The Science Of Spiciness: Why Your Body Reacts To Spicy Foods (VIDEO)

Do you like spicy foods? Well, if you do, did you ever think about the reasons why you like them so much? And what happens to your body when you eat them? Do you enjoy the pain more or are you just tougher than those you don’t like spicy foods? In fact, the video below, created by Ted Ed, can teach you everything there is to know about this.

The way you feel the burning sensation

Eating spicy foods can cause extreme reactions like an intense burning sensation in your mouth, watery eyes, a runny nose, and even hot sweats. Those reactions come from certain compounds that activate sensory neurons called “polymodal nociceptors” located in your mouth and nose, but also all over your body. It seems that you feel this burning sensation because your brain thinks your mouth is burning for real.

What is included in the video

In this video, narrator Rose Eveleth explains in great details why certain types of foods are spicy, when humans started to eat them, the way our bodies react to different spices and why some people will go back to spicy dishes, even though they know they will get burn again and again. Actually, people who like eating spicy foods are also more inclined to enjoy adrenaline-rich activities like gambling, skydiving or riding roller coasters.

So the next time you eat spicy foods, whether you like the pain or not, you will know the reasons why those red chili peppers, Tabasco sauce or jalapeños peppers feel so hot in your mouth. The question is, do you like spicy dishes enough to pay the price of pain and discomfort each time you eat some? Well, if you do, you’re gonna get burn!

Photo credit: malias/Flickr / CC BY


2 thoughts on “The Science Of Spiciness: Why Your Body Reacts To Spicy Foods (VIDEO)

Add yours

  1. Hey Nataly!

    I LOVE hot and spicy foods. Not sure why other than I love the tingling sensation in my mouth. 🙂 Sometimes though, the spicy food doesn’t cooperate and tears my insides up. But I’m a glutton for punishment and go right back for more.

    Great post gf! Passing this along!



    1. Hi Bren!

      Happy you like my post! As you can see, I love learning about anything that’s related to science. That’s why, when I saw this video, I was really curious to learn more about spicy foods. I now understand why I can’t eat spicy foods since every sensation is heighten with Fibromyalgia. I just thought I was a wuss! LOL! 😉

      Seriously, thanks for stopping by and come back again soon! 🙂


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