There’s a reason Buffalo Wild Wings has a popular following in whatever city it is in – its crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside chicken wings served with a wide range of sauces are so delicious you can’t seem to stop eating them! There’s also the fact that the spicy sauces are equally with evocative names like mild, medium and hot insane.
We daresay that it’s the spiciness of these sauces that bring back customers again and again. Everybody with a hankering for spicy food, or even if you’re just curious about it, will find a couple of sauces that will satisfy their taste buds. There’s the mild sauces with just a hint of red pepper for the spicy food virgins and then there’s the Abusive, Nuclear and Suicidal sauces for those who want to test their tongue.
But before you become too attached to spicy food, much less increase the level of heat on your food, here are a few things that you should take note of. You will find that there’s sense in turning down the heat when you know the possible side effects of your love affair with intensely spicy food.
Onions and garlic add flavor to food as well as provide nutrients for your body. But when consumed in excessive amounts, especially when eaten raw, these can cause bad breath that no amount of brushing and chewing on mint can resolve.
Bad breath in itself obviously isn’t a life-threatening condition – unless it’s a sign of an underlying medical condition – but it can spell disaster in social situations. Just think about having bad breath on date night and you will certainly lay off on the spicy food, if only for a few days prior to the date.
Taste Bud Damage
While spices used in food, such as red peppers, garlic and onion, and ginger, add flavor to dishes, these can cause damage to the taste buds when consumed in large quantities and prolonged periods. No, it isn’t true that you will get used to the heat of chili peppers when you increase your consumption.
Instead, your taste buds can experience temporary or permanent damage from the burning sensation caused by chili peppers. Think of it as the wear and tear caused by long-term abuse of your taste buds and you get the idea. Think of it, if you will, as damaging your ears from constantly exposing them to loud music – in both cases, the body part can suffer from irreversible deterioration.
If you feel that the highest heat level isn’t burning your mouth as much as it did before, then your taste buds may already be damaged. You have to dial down the heat level and allow your taste buds to recover. You will find that your sense of taste becomes more refined and, thus, able to enjoy subtle differences in flavor.
If you have accidentally touched your eye area with fingers that were dipped into hot pepper, then you know that these red spices can burn your skin. Often, it doesn’t matter what kind of pepper it was or its amount – if it touches your skin, then you will feel your skin burning.
Tip: Apply lip balm to your lips to create a barrier between the delicate skin on your lips and the spicy food, if you can’t help eating the latter. Avoid touching any part of your face with your chili-riddled hands and wash your hands, too, as soon as you finish eating.
Spices like red pepper, chilies and garlic have irritant qualities that can affect your stomach, intestines and gut. These spices will not actually cause gastritis, acid reflux, and ulcers but these can make the conditions worse.
Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining usually triggered by bacterial infections in the stomach. But spicy food may also decrease the stomach’s protective barrier so it’s best to avoid them if you have been diagnosed with gastritis. Otherwise, a simple case of gastritis can worsen to become ulcers, a condition wherein the stomach’s own acids eat away at its protective lining.
Acid reflux can also be worsened with even moderate consumption of spicy foods. While acid reflux isn’t a life-threatening condition, it’s just as bothersome as bad breath, as well as increase the risk of teeth erosion.
The consumption of spicy food before bedtime can also affect your sleep. Your body has to slow down, so to speak, in terms of body temperature and metabolism before it can sleep. But since spicy food actually increases body temperature, your body doesn’t so your sleep becomes interrupted.
The bottom line: You can still enjoy spicy food but do so in moderation. Your body will send signals that you’re overdoing spicy food, such as numb tongue for several hours after eating it, so turn down the heat or reduce your consumption. Your body will also benefit from moderate consumption since spicy food contains high Vitamin C levels, speeds up your metabolism, and maybe even turn on your libido.