How to cool mouth after eating spicy food

Food and health

Is your mouth on fire because of eating spicy food? Don’t reach for that glass of water. Capsaicin, a chemical in chillies which activates pain receptors and causes a burning sensation, dissolves in oil and fat but not in water. As a result, drinking water simply spreads the capsaicin around your tongue. Opt for the effective remedies given below.

Drink a glass of milk: Milk contains the protein casein which helps breaks the bonds capsaicin forms on nerve receptors. Other dairy products like ice cream, butter, cheese and yogurt can also dilute the painful heat on your tongue. This may explain why Indian and Mexican cuisine, which use a lot of spices, usually include dairy products in their recipes to offset the effects of capsaicin.

Take a teaspoon of sugar or honey: Sugar or honey can actually neutralize the heat from a spicy dish. Put the sugar in your mouth or coat your tongue with honey. Let it sit in your mouth before swallowing it or spitting it out. The oil-based capsaicin gets absorbed by the sugar or honey.

Eat a slice of bread: The starch will create a barrier between your mouth and the capsaicin and absorb some of the stinging pain. Boiled potatoes or rice can help in a similar way. The creamy texture of a banana can also help offset the burning sensation.

Chew a slice of lemon: Lemons, tomatoes, oranges and pineapples are alkalizing fruits which will reduce the acidity of the spice and help in cooling the tongue.

Eat some chocolate: A chocolate bar may come in handy to reduce the burning sensation in your mouth. The high fat content in chocolate will help remove some of the capsaicin from the mouth since it is soluble in fat.

Sources: foodndtv.com, www.medicaldaily.com, www.wikihow.com

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