We’re not born with the ability to indulge in handfuls of habaneros and large portions of Durban’s best spicy curries

This is a tolerance that builds up over time. For some, eating spicy food is a way of life, and for others, it takes a little time to learn to enjoy the intricate flavours and spice combinations behind the ‘burn’.

If you’re keen to expand your tastes, and venture into the world of spicy foods, the video above shows you how to start building up your tolerance so that you can start experimenting with spices and peppers.

What causes the ‘burn’?

A chemical compound called capsaicin is found in spicy foods like hot peppers. In a nutshell, it binds to pain receptors on your tongue and sends a warning signal to your brain. In turn, the brain responds to the ‘threat’ by causing teary eyes and a runny nose!

The pain response also triggers the release of endorphins and dopamine which are the ‘feel-good’ hormones. This is why so many people enjoy eating spicy foods.

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Is spicy food good for your body?

According to some studies, those who eat spicy foods are 13% less likely to die from heart disease or stroke.

Here are some of our favourite spicy recipes to try:

 

Spicy Huevos Rancheros with Boerewors recipe

Spicy Huevos Rancheros with Boerewors recipe

 

Spicy Dhal with Naan Bread recipe

Spicy Dhal with Naan Bread recipe

 

Easy Chicken Chilli recipe

Easy Chicken Chilli recipe

 

Gluten-free Chipotle Black Bean Chilli recipe

Gluten-free Chipotle Black Bean Chilli recipe

 

Lamb Ramen with Star Anise, Ginger and Chilli recipe

Lamb Ramen with Star Anise, Ginger and Chilli recipe

 

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Chilli recipe

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Chilli recipe

 

Chilli Biltong and Balsamic Braai Broodjies recipe

Chilli Biltong and Balsamic Braai Broodjies recipe

 

Meatless Chilli Nachos recipe

Meatless Chilli Nachos recipe