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Zesty Foods

Zesty food. Is there anything better than a spicy meal, especially when it’s homemade? There is no one around to tell you that it’s too hot, no overly cautious cook afraid to add too much piquant, and no one to watch as you sweat bullets and gulp down your molten concoction just the way you like it.

But can peppery food damage our sense of taste? When do we know we’ve had too much of it? And do quesosakatenango chili peppers really cause hallucinations that send you on a quest to find your soul mate? One can experience stomach problems and other conditions if a meal is a bit too zesty.

Furthermore, constantly eating hot food can have permanent negative effects on the body. Here’s what you need to know about the negative impact spicy food can have. Now that you know which foods can cause you harm, here is why they shouldn’t be overused.

Geographic tongue
Eating potent things can cause a condition known as geographic tongue (genign migratory glossitis). It is believed that geographic tongue is caused by an allergic reaction to certain comestibles. Whether or not it’s caused by allergies isn’t clear, but spicy food is usually the culprit. The condition appears quite rapidly and produces irritation by forming strange patterns on the tongue. After an onset, one can have a weakened sense of taste for up to one month. It disappears with time and isn’t dangerous, but it can be quite irritating.

Gastritis
An overabundance of spicy food can cause Gastritis. Gastritis is an inflammation in the stomach lining. It is usually triggered by infections, but spicy foods like chili peppers are also believed to reduce the stomach’s protective barrier. Chronic gastritis can produce ulcers by allowing the stomach’s own acids to eat away at the lining. Ulcers can heal with time, just like any other lesion, but one must eat milder meals.

Acid reflux
In some people, spicy food can trigger acid reflux disease, which isn’t bad per se, but it can be bothersome. Restaurant cuisine often seems to elicit this condition — all that burping men experience after a nice Italian meal at their favorite bistro isn’t a result of bad manners, it’s the body not being able to handle all that strange, spicy cuisine.

Chronic acid reflux disease can also lead to esophageal cancer, but only in rare cases. Cutting down on peppery cooking is a good first step to reducing this risk. Acid reflux, especially at night, can also erode teeth.

Bad breath
Garlic and onions are among the worst-smelling things a guy can eat, and they also happen to cause bad breath. Granted, bad breath isn’t much of a nuisance, but it can sometimes spell disaster, especially on a nice first date. So avoid spicy cuisine on those nights.

Insomnia
Here is one most men probably didn’t know: spicy food is bad for sleep. The cause is quite simple. The body needs to slow down before it can snooze and spicy food raises body temperature (that’s why we sweat after a consuming fiery food). If one happens to consume something zesty before going to bed, it can disrupt slumber. The first cycle of sleep is particularly sensitive to hot food.

Damage to taste buds finally constantly eating hot food can permanently reduce the sensation of taste. I often hear people assure others that they will get used to the burning of chili peppers. It’s true, people do feel less scorching after years of spicy abuse, but not because the body got “used” to the sensation in question.

Over time, taste buds wear out, making this reduced sensation nothing more than wear and tear of chronic abuse. It’s no different from people getting “used” to loud music in clubs in both cases the body suffers permanent deterioration.

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