Why does spicy food make my nose run?


You may love the taste of spicy food, and really, who doesn’t?

But have you ever wondered why spicy food sometimes makes your nose run? The answer has to do with capsaicin. That’s the compound found naturally in hot peppers that makes them so hot. The higher a pepper ranking on the heat scale, the hotter it is. A pepper’s heat is tied to its capsaicin, and for some people, it means your nose starts running and your eyes start watering. That’s because your body is trying to release fluids in order to flush out the fiery blaze going on with your system.

The amount of heat you can handle is probably tied somewhat to your personality and somewhat to genetics.

Some people like their food fiery hot, while others would rather tone down the extra spice. That’s why a few tears and a running nose is enough to cause some people to put down all the peppers, and others to simply give in to hotter and hotter peppers, even if that means dealing with sweat and tears. For some pepper lovers, it’s all part of the appeal of eating hot chili peppers and pepper-related products.

If you love hot peppers, there’s another good reason to get more hot peppers and capsaicin in your diet.

Studies show eating fiery hot peppers can sometimes cause a little discomfort, but capsaicin also has several health benefits. Some people use capsaicin-infused products topically to help tone down the pain of things like arthritis and psoriasis. Capsaicin is also thought to help boost your metabolism, which can be a plus if you’re trying to maintain your existing weight, or even lose a few pounds. Another good reason to eat capsaicin has to do with its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s thought capsaicin may help with heart health, which may actually be worth a few tears and a runny nose.   

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