How much do we hate experiencing a burning sensation as we eat anything spicy? We generally turn to cold water in order relieve ourselves from the fiery feeling in our mouth. However, it may only worsen the case as it may spread the capsaicin - a compound found in chili - inside your mouth. Spicy foods get their spiciness and hot intensity from capsaicin, which can be neutralised with certain things. In order to stop the burning sensation quickly, do not drink water; instead follow something that will help.
Dr. Kapil Agrawal, Sr. Consultant, Laproscopic & Bariatric Surgeon, Habilite & Apollo Spectra Hospital, "Most spicy food gets its kick from capsaicinoids, a family of molecules found in nearly all chili peppers. The chili burn stems from a chemical reaction that occurs when capsaicin bonds with the pain receptors on the inside of the mouth. Drinking water after biting down on a chili pepper will only spread the capsaicin around the inside of your mouth, where it will come in contact with more pain receptors and amp up the burning sensation. Steer clear of beer and soda too-both beverages are mostly water."(Also read: 6 Surprising Spicy Food Benefits: Turn Up The Heat)
Drinking water after biting down on a chili pepper will only spread the capsaicin
Here are some amazing alternatives to water suggested by Dr. Agarwal that will help give you some relief from spicy foods.
- Opt for whole milk or full-fat sour cream or yogurt to do the trick. It works just like soap dissolving grease particles when cleaning dishes. Milk will dissolve and remove capsaicin from the reactive area.
- Capsaicin also dissolves in alcohol. Swigs of alcohol can also have the added benefit of blacking out all memory of the burn.
- Choose olive oil, or peanut butter. Both products are high in fat and oil that can help in removing the spiciness easily.
- Rice and bread won't dissolve capsaicin like fats, oils, and alcohol, but they will act like a crude mop to soak up the molecules and stop the scorching feeling.
- A spoonful of sugar should help or honey can help. The sugar in honey and the granules can absorb the spicy oil and will provide instant relief.
- A lime or lemon may help too. A slice of lemon or citrus fruit will help neutralise the capsaicin by binding with them, kind of similar to what dairy can do.
- You can also try filling your mouth with warm water and swish it around your mouth and spit to remove the spiciness from the tongue.
- Try creamy fruits and veggies like avocados and banana. The silky texture will help remove the capsaicin from the mouth easily.
Ensure that you do not drink cold water immediately as it may also put off the digestive fire and may hinder your digestion process, further resulting in various health problems. So, now you do not have to completely stop eating spicy foods, just pop in these foods and get instant relief.