Hot & Spicy Taste: Why Should We Eat Spicy Foods?

Hot and Spicy Taste: Its Merits & Why Should We Eat Spicy Foods?

We will discuss “Hot and Spicy Taste” today in the continuation of the discussion about “Taste”. The word “pungent” is synonymous with our favorite taste “hot”- “hot-spicy taste”.[1] Various types of foods known as “Jhale-jhole” (food with hot and spicy taste) are mentioned in the Bengali literature. The word “hot and spicy” is associated with many recipes in Bangladesh such as ‘puti-macherJhal’, ‘Potato jhal’, ‘jhalchorchori’ etc.

The picture of spicy foods floats in front of our eyes when we hear the name of chilies. Chili is the main ingredient or spice that works as the main ingredient of hot taste. Before taking about chili, let us know the spices from which we get the hot taste.  Ginger was the only and prime ingredient of the hot and spicy taste once in our country.

There is a proverb in Bengal, ‘Whoever eats ginger will realize the hot taste.’ It can be assumed that the proverb is composed at that time. Hot taste is usually found in spices such as chili, pepper, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, etc. However, the foods prepared using chilies are commonly known as hot and spicy foods.

One kind of branches and roots are used as a hot spice for cooking in Khulna and Jessore, the Southside of Bangladesh.  These are locally known as ‘Chui jhal’ (Piper chaba). They mostly don’t use the leaves of the tree. The roots are spicier than the branches. The roots are used mainly for cooking. Besides, leaves, flowers, and fruits are also used as herbal medicines. It can be said that the whole plant is an herbal plant.

Why Do People like Hot and Spicy Taste

Whatever may be the taste of the other flavor, people prefer hot and spicy taste because of the color, aroma, and taste of the food due to the use of spices. However, researchers have found a correlation between weather with hot and spicy foods.  According to them, people in areas where high temperatures are high demand for hot foods.

They have provided the information by analyzing the history of food and the types of spices used in food in different areas of the world. For them, food is usually rotten quickly in hot temperature areas.  But it is not rotten so early if more spices are used for cooking. Bacterial attacks are less in spicy foods.

Why Do People like Hot and Spicy Taste
Why Do People like Hot and Spicy Taste

Spicy foods help to reduce the ill-tempered feeling of people living in intense hot regions. People get sweating for the consumption of excess hot and spicy taste foods. It is also found that hot-taste plays a role in human body temperature regulation. Probably, for these reasons, people have a special fascination with hot and spicy taste.[2]

Bengali foods are mainly based on hot and spicy taste. So, the use of various types of chilies is associated with our cuisine. However, researcher Golam Murshid says about the use of pepper in Bengali food, the Portuguese brought chilies to this country.  Black pepper was available in this area, but not chili. Chili was spread over the world from Central and South America. Many archaeological pieces of evidence are found about the use of chilies for more than six thousand years in that area.

In Bengal, pepper is the synonyms of chili.[3] It is known that the indigenous peoples of America have been using chili about 7500 years ago. Archaeologists have found evidence of pepper cultivation more than 6000 years in the Southwestern part of Ecuador.

Chili was cultivated in various parts of Central and South America from ancient times. Christopher Columbus was the first Europeans who saw chilies in the Caribbean islands. He named these as ‘pepper’ as these were hot taste like black pepper produced in India.  Of course, chili plants are not similar to black pepper plants. Pepper was spread throughout the world just after the discovery of America by Columbus.

Diego Alvarez Chanaka, a physician, brought chilies to Spain from the West Indian Islands during Columbus’s second expedition to America. He wrote an article on the medicinal merits of pepper in 1494.  Spanish merchants brought chilies from Mexico to various places in Asia. Pepper was first spread in the Philippines, and then in India, China, Korea, and Japan. It became an indispensable source of local cuisine very quickly in different regions of Asia for its hot and spicy taste and flavors.”[4]

The chemistry of the taste is excellent, it does not matter what we say sour or sweet or hot and spicy taste. All the variety of color, flavor, and taste in nature are for molecules. Different types of molecules are responsible for different flavors. The molecule that is responsible for the hot and spicy taste of chilies is called ‘capsaicin’.

Diversity is found in nature for many different molecules. Our tongue has many receptors for taste. We feel hot taste when these molecules come into contact with the receptor. The diverse form of a molecule is that it does not behave the same will all creatures.  The capsaicin molecule is hot to taste for humans but not for birds. That is why we have to be careful about crow when we keep the ripe chilies to be dried under sunshine.

Can the capsaicin molecule not be removed from chili?  However, chilies without capsaicin can be invented by researching. Capsicum is not tasted hot and spicy because it does not contain capsaicin molecules. Various types of chilies with different levels of hot and spicy taste have been found. It is worth mentioning that Naga chili is currently recognized as the most hot-taste chili pepper in the world.[5]

We usually get more chilies while we are having ‘fuchka’ and ‘mashed foods’ even our tongue is irritated with the hot taste of the food. The feeling of hot and spicy taste is enjoyable even it is not pleasant to the tongue.

Researchers have referred “an ingredient named ‘Sunsul’ is responsible for the sudden irritation of the tongue when we eat the hot and spicy food. This complex chemical ingredient is found in chilies.  It gives a painful hot and spicy taste feeling in the tongue. This hot feeling goes directly to the brain. As a result, the lips and mouth seem to be hot at times. Sunsul is a kind of material that deceives our feelings or senses.”[6]

The Merits of Hot and Spicy Taste

Many people do not eat spicy foods at all, on the other hand, some people do not like to have anything without chili. It happens for the variation of personal taste. People who do not eat chilies may be surprised seeing the merits of having hot and spicy foods of the people who have the taste with chilies.  But frankly, people are benefitted who eat more hot-taste foods with chilies.

The Merits of Hot and Spicy Taste
The Merits of Hot and Spicy Taste

What are you thinking? You should know that hot and spicy food with chilies is good for health. It is the fact even it is surprising to hear people get rid of various physical diseases who eat spicy foods. Here find some of the benefits:

Keeps the Heart Healthy

Hot and spicy foods help to keep cardiovascular problems away. It helps to eliminate bad cholesterol in the body and makes our heart healthy. Besides, capsaicin also has an anti-inflammatory component, which also prevents inflammation.

Prevents Cancer

Studies show that capsaicin, a compound of chilies and hot taste food, has the magical ability to destroy body cancer cells. It also has the ability to prevent common cold coughs and strokes.

Reduces Body Weight

Are you trying to lose weight at any cost? Then, you can add hot and spicy taste food in your daily menu. Because studies have shown that chili, which is the main source of hot-taste foods, contains a compound called capsaicin, and it is responsible for the thermogenic effect in the body. This thermogenic effect is especially helpful for reducing body calories.

Lowers High Blood Pressure

Studies show that hot and spicy taste foods and chili peppers help to soften blood vessels and reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

Controls Anger

Those who can’t control anger at all can try to remove the anger by eating chilies and hot-spicy foods. Studies show that spicy foods increase the level of serotonin in our body so that a pleasant feeling can be produced in the brain. It also removes anger a little later. ”[7]

Green chilies are the main source of hot and spicy food. We use green chilies to increase the flavor and taste of foods. We already know chili contains capsaicin that enhances the hot taste of chili peppers. This capsaicin contains vitamin A, C, B-3, iron, potassium and a little amount of protein and carbohydrates.  These ingredients bring saliva to the mouth and make having food enjoyable. They are also very beneficial for skin and health.

However, chilies provide more benefit if we keep raw green chilies in our daily diet. It is better to eat raw green chilies.  Because vitamin C in green chilies are destroyed if the chilies are cooked over 370 Degree temperature. So, try to have the practice of eating raw green chilies with daily food to have the benefit.

Green chilies keep the body cool with sweating in the summer season. It contains a large amount of antioxidant beta-carotene that keeps the cardiovascular system functioning. The practice of having raw green chilies improves immunity.  Green chilies contain vitamin A that helps to keep bones, teeth and mucous membranes strong. Green chili contains a lot of vitamin C which protects the gums and hair. Eating raw green pepper regularly reduces various nerve problems. ”[8]

Readers, we have previously mentioned a popular exceptional hot and spicy taste ingredient in Bangladesh called ‘Chui Jhal’ (Piper chaba). The roots and the stems of chui are herbal. It is popular as a spice throughout the country. Some benefits are highlighted below.

According to doctors, the tree is very effective in preventing various diseases of the human body. The tree plays an effective role in preventing various diseases of the human body. Besides, it-

  1. Solves Gastric problems.
  2. Eliminates constipation.
  3. Plays an important role in boosting taste and easing hunger.
  4. Chui-jhal is very helpful for the treatment of inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
  5. Alleviates nervous excitement and emotional turmoil.
  6. Works as medicine for sleeping.
  7. Reduces physical weakness and relieves body aches.
  8. Helps to reduce pain during the maternity period.
  9. Eliminates cough, asthma, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and anemia.
  10. You can get relief from cold having paste of one inch of ginger with the plant.[9]

Conclusion

We eat food to keep our body functioning and healthy. Apparently, there are many food ingredients that we do not have any accurate information about. Hot and spicy taste foods are such this type. Hot or spicy does not mean bad if it is taken at the right level. So let us have the hot taste daily and keep it in our daily food menu to keep us strong and healthy.

References

  1. Bangla Academy Practical Bangla Dictionary, page 489
  2. https://archive1.ittefaq.com.bd
  3. https://www.prothomalo.com
  4. https://bn.wikipedia.org
  5. https://www.prothomalo.com
  6. https://samakal.com
  7. https://old.dhakatimes24.com
  8. https://www.bd-pratidin.com
  9. https://www.gonews24.com


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