A lot of people in HongKong cannot stand the hotness of spicy chili and hence refuse to take even a bite of them. In fact, they can contribute a lot to our body health. So we would like to introduce how they are actually related.
First of all, the use of chilli peppers in food was initially associated with hot countries because after eating food containing chilli peppers people feel cooler. This is because it induces perspiration that results in a loss of body heat. It can also suppress the appetite but not thirst. So people eat less but continue to drink water.
Chilli peppers have been breed with different levels of the pungent compound capsaicin in them. This can vary from type to type, so some are much hotter than others.
When consumed, capsaicinoids bind with pain receptors in the mouth and throat that are normally responsible for sensing heat. Once activated by the capsaicinoids, these receptors send a message to the brain that the person has consumed something hot. The brain responds to the burning sensation by raising the heart rate, increasing perspiration and release of endorphins.
It is an irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact. Capsaicin and several related compounds are called capsaicinoids and are produced as a secondary metabolite by chili peppers, probably as deterrents against certain herbivores and fungi. Pure capsaicin is a hydrophobic, colorless, odorless, crystalline to waxy compound.
It is an irritant in humans that causes a burning sensation with contact to skin and especially to the mucous membranes such as the eyes or mouth.
Drinking water does not stop the burning sensation because capsaicin is non-polar and hydrophobic. Because water is polar, the capsaicin does not dissolve in it, rather the water helps spread the capsaicin around. Eating foods with fat and oil like milk, bread, peanut butter, or whipped cream will...