<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?

bigthink.com

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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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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.

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