Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Eat Something Spicy to Delete Stress

The hot, spicy taste of foods is not, in fact, a taste sensation but a feeling of pain. Capsaicin – the chemical compound that makes chili peppers hot – binds to proteins, or pain receptors, of nerve cells in the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. The nerve impulses produced in this way pass via the trigeminal nerve into the brain, creating a painful burning feeling. The same receptors also react to heat, so that when heavily spiced food is eaten hot, the effect is even more intense. However, the pain is offset by the body’s reaction, which is to release endorphins – naturally occurring opioids that produce a feeling of wellbeing – which could explain the popularity of hot, spicy food. Another positive effect of hot spices is that they kill pathogens and promote sweating – the latter effect being especially useful for cooling the body in hot climates.
Things to avoid
If you feel you are depressed or at risk for depression, you also need to avoid certain foods and substances. Some commonly prescribed drugs — such as antibiotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, pain killers, ulcer drugs, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, anti-Parkinson’s drugs, birth control pills, high blood pressure drugs, heart medications and psychotropic drugs — contribute to depression. If you are taking any of these, don’t quit them without talking to your doctor; but be aware that they may be contributing to your condition by depleting your body of depression-fighting vitamins and minerals.
You should also avoid caffeine, smoking and foods high in fat and sugar. Keeping your blood sugar stable and getting B vitamins is important for stabilizing your mood. Cacao can be good for mood because it releases endorphins in the brain, but watch out for milk chocolate and candy varieties high in sugar.

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Category: Stress
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