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A pleasure to burn: Why do people like spicy foods?

<p><span>Preference for spicy ...

Preference for spicy foods, like all foods, is the result of a complex interplay of genes, culture, memory, and personality,  a complex design that scientists are only now beginning to understand

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A pleasure to burn: Why do people like spicy foods?

A pleasure to burn: Why do people like spicy foods?

https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/why-people-like-spicy-foods

bigthink.com

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Key Ideas

Spicy foods and "constrained risks"

Eating spicy foods triggers a mild defense response in us. Our heart rates rise, our breathing increases, and our adrenaline starts to flow. We feel alive. It's the same thrill-seeking behavior exhibited by bungee jumping, roller coasters, and horror movies. The thrill of pain rejuvenates us, while we secretly know all will be well in the end.

Spicy foods-an acquired taste

Spicy foods have antifungal and antibacterial properties. In this light, humans have culturally and genetically evolved a preference for spicy foods because they protect us from microscopic assailants. When our taste buds encounter pungency, it's a signal to our brains that the food is cleaner.

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The recommended salt intake for adults is no more than 2,300 milligrams a day, ideally under 1,500 milligrams, according to the American Heart Association. Americans end up consuming nearly ...

Common reasons to crave salty foods
  • Your body is depleted of sodium when we sweat, which then makes us need to consume more;
  • You're dehydrated
  • You’re stressed;
  • You’re not getting enough sleep
  • Salt lights up the pleasure center in your brain and releases a hormone called dopamine, which makes you feel happy;
  • Humans have an innate drive to seek salt because it is necessary for survival and historically a rare mineral to find;
  • You may have an underlying health issue.

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