🌶Love it or hate it, here’s the lowdown on chilli🌶
Chillies are the fruits of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family (more about this later). Capsaicin, the main compound which gives them their pungent flavor and heat, reacts with pain receptors in the mouth and on the tongue signalling to the brain that our mouth is "on fire". The body cools itself down through sweating and redness and attempts to remove the threat through tears and a runny nose.
Interestingly, the more we eat, the more desensitized these pain receptors get, allowing us to build up a tolerance to the pain from chill as well as other sensations. In response to the perceived pain, our brains release endorphins and dopamine, giving us that euphoric feeling - hence why the pain is so weirdly addictive!
Chillies include a myriad of unique plant compounds, minerals and vitamins like Vitamin B6, a super dose of Vitamin C and Beta-carotene (which your body converts to Vitamin A). These assist the body with all sorts of functions ranging from blood, bone and metabolic health to supporting the immune system in fighting off colds and flus.
Sadly, chillies can cause severe irritation for those with sensitive or compromised guts. As they are part of the nightshade family (the edible ones anyways), their skins contain alkaloids which act as natural pesticides, keeping bugs 🐜and mold away. The alkaloids can cause damage to the intestinal tract by killing off or disrupting the function of some of our cells, which can lead to gut permeability aka "leaky gut”. When germs, toxins or other substances leak from our digestive tract into our blood, it causes an immune response to attack and remove these threats. In the case of autoimmune diseases, the body will furiously attack itself along the way.
As always, be your own detective and tune into your gut 🕵🏼♀️ it holds all the answers. If you feel any irritation after eating chilli, or suffer from any kind of autoimmune condition try removing all nightshades for a couple of weeks before reintroducing them and notice how you feel...📝Perhaps keep a food journal and witness the wisdom that is your body