Why Can Some People Tolerate Spice Whilst Others Can’t?

October 20, 2020

Here at Royal Nawaab, we have a fair selection of dishes that could blow the socks off of a lot of our diners. After all, some people just aren’t equipped with the ability to eat spicy food without suffering from a running nose, watery eyes and flaming tongue. On the other hand, there are others who seem to have a built-in spice tolerance. Read on as we explain why…

The active ingredient in many spices is known as Capsaicin, which binds with VR1 receptors in the mouth and causes a sensory neuron to be sent out. As a result, the tongue, lips and throat will all start to tingle and/or burn in response. For many people, eating a hot pepper can be a painful experience due to the high-levels of capsaicin they contain, however others may have a very small reaction, if any at all.

There are thought to be many reasons for some people’s ability to tolerate spice and heat more than others. One American chef put it down to the way the mind reacts when we know that something is going to be hot, which suggests that a lack of tolerance could be all in our heads. Furthermore, scientists have also rejected the idea that eating spicy food ‘destroys’ the tastebuds over time as it is merely the capsaicin chemical causing the sensation of heat.

It is important to take culture into consideration as many Asian children are fed spicy food from a young age that children in the UK and US wouldn’t consume until their mid-teens. It is probable that this early-exposure to capsaicin could make some people more tolerant to the chemical. On the other hand, it is thought to be possible to ‘train’ yourself to become accustomed to spicy food by introducing it into your diet overtime.

From jalapenos to cayenne peppers, spice and heat can be implemented into a dish in a variety of different ways. In fact, many chefs simply raise the bar by adding more of them during the cooking process. To try some our spiciest dishes for yourself, get in contact with the best restaurant London has to offer and speak to a member of the Royal Nawaab team today!