Too Much Spice? How to Cool Things Down Fast

If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve had a bit too much spice, you know you need to cool things down fast!

While many of us love the taste of spicy food, there probably comes a time for all of us that we’ve hit our limit. We need too cool things down, and fast! But before you down that glass of water, keep in mind water can quench your thirst, but it won’t do much to alleviate the burning pain of hot peppers. That’s especially true when it comes to those that rank high on the hot pepper scale. That’s because the capsaicin in hot peppers is fat-soluble. In other words, it mostly just repels water.

On the other hand, there’s milk.

Milk contains casein, plus its fat-soluble. It’s thought the fat in milk dissolves capsaicin, keeping it from binding to the TRPV1 receptor on your tongue. Skim milk won’t be nearly as effective. You want to reach for a glass of milk with the highest fat content available. If you’re lactose intolerant, never fear. Because capsaicin is alkaline, you can neutralize it with vinegar, lemon juice, or another type of acidic food. It won’t work quite as well as milk, but at least it’s an option in a pinch.

Some people also claim you can fight back against spicy food by eating bread.

Chemically speaking, adding more carbs isn’t all that effective in soothing the burn from spicy food. Essentially, the bread just acts as a barrier, of sorts, between capsaicin and the receptors on your tongue. There’s obviously no need to give up spicy food altogether, but it helps to know your limits. If you’re not used to extra spicy food, you may want to start on the lower end of the spice scale, then slowly work your way up as your tolerance increases.

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