As any self-respecting chocoholic will know, chocolate contains the same chemical which is released in the brain when we fall in love, which almost certainly explains why some people just can’t seem to get enough of the stuff.  Did you know though, that hot, spicy food also contains an ingredient that gives us the feel-good factor?

Capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in the chili peppers which are typically found in spicy foods such as curries, triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormones and natural painkillers.  Normally we get a rush of endorphins when we exercise or when we experience pain, but eating hot, spicy foods can create exactly the same effect.  In fact, in just the same way that exercise feels addictive to some people because it makes them feel so good, so there are those who feel addicted to curries!

The natural painkilling properties of capsaicin were recognized many years ago and still today it is used in topical skin preparations for the treatment of the pain associated with conditions such as arthritis.

So, next time you feel a bit down in the dumps or experience some minor pain, why not treat yourself to something spicy?  If pain symptoms persist though, do be sure to get them checked out by a qualified medical practitioner.