Happy early holiday weekend! Before we get started celebrating America’s birthday, how about some Did You Know? Friday! As a reminder, the first friday of the month, Emily from Sinful Nutrition, Amanda from Semi-Health Nut, and I bring you some solid nutrition/health information that we try to make short, sweet, and easy for everyone to understand!
Sooooo, I don’t know about all of you, but I am a wuss when it comes to spicy and hot food. I just learned to tolerate mild buffalo wings and mildly spiced thai food in that past couple years! On the otherhand, I have friends who just LOVE spicy foods…foods that make me cry at one taste, they can handle the heat no problem.
So what exactly gives foods the spice and heat flavor that makes some of us cringe? A mouthful of a molecule called Capsaicin.
Capsaicin is found in some peppers and binds to cell receptors in your tongue and mouth…when it binds to your receptors, is signals to your brain and you feel an intense heat and pain, depending on the capsaicin concentration.
Sooo let’s talk about peppers. Some peppers contain high levels of capsaicin. Common examples of peppers (with increasing capsaicin concentration) would be jalepeno, serrano, tabasco, and habenero peppers. Most hot sauces that we might put on our eggs, buffalo wings, etc., are a mixture of these peppers…some sauces even contain pure capsaicin (diluted of course)! Other foods may have chopped or dried peppers with capsaicin to add heat. An interesting thing to note is that bell peppers do not contain any capsaicin, which is why they have a sweeter taste and very little heat.
So when you are enjoying some spicy salsa or hot wings at your barbeque’s this weekend, you can impress your family and friends with your nutrition nerd knowledge about capsaicin! You can thank me later 🙂
What other questions would you want to see on Did You Know? Friday? Go check out Em and Amanda’s posts for today and keep learning!