Why am I craving spicy food?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Why am I craving spicy food?”. We will also discuss if we have spicy food cravings during periods. Moreover, we will also talk about the benefits of consuming spicy food.

Why am I craving spicy food?

If you are suddenly craving some spicy food, there could be many reasons behind it. Let us discuss some of the most common reasons why you are craving spicy food:


Although spicy food provides heat, it can also sometimes cool your body. So it is natural to have some spice cravings when you’re overheated. 

Chili peppers contain the chemical capsaicin which gives them their distinctive spicy flavor. According to some research, capsaicin may also play an important role in thermoregulation, which is the process by which your body’s internal temperature is maintained.

Overexposure to capsaicin

If you’re someone who is frequently having spicy food, chances are that it may be the reason why you’re craving more. The cravings are caused due to your overexposure to capsaicin which is loaded in every spicy food.


Some people are born with fewer capsaicin receptors while some have more, it’s in their genes. Capsaicin is the active molecule present in chili peppers that activate TRPV1 receptors that are responsible for the burning heat you feel from eating spicy food. 

When these receptors are triggered, you experience a burning sensation in your mouth. People born with more spice tolerance are more likely to have more spicy cravings as well.

Hormonal imbalance

A hormonal imbalance may also cause a spicy food craving. Serotonin and leptin are the hormones that are most likely to influence your spice cravings. Hormonal changes, such as those caused by pregnancy or menstruation, can also cause you to suddenly crave spicy food.


Many people experience runny noses and sneezing after eating spicy foods. But surprisingly, some studies suggest that spicy foods may help relieve congestion and stuffiness. It is also said to improve the symptoms of rhinitis. This might be another reason why you want some heat and spice.


Capsaicin which is the active component in ever spicy foods has antidepressant properties that may aid in the treatment of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. 

When consumed, capsaicin causes an unpleasant burning sensation and your body responds to this pain by releasing endorphins, which activate opiate receptors in your body and give you a sensation of pleasure.

If you’re feeling down or having extreme anxiety, eating some spicy food may help you deal with it to some extent.


It is very common to crave sweet, sour, and spicy foods when you’re pregnant. We don’t have any factual evidence as to why pregnant women crave spicy food but many researchers have suggested that changes in hormones, nutrient shortages, and specific chemicals or substances in preferred meals may be some of the reasons. 

During pregnancy, hormonal changes might impact your perception of taste and smell, resulting in spicy food cravings or some other specific cravings.

Do we have spicy food cravings during periods?

Yes, it’s common to crave spicy food before and during your periods. You have changes in estrogen and progesterone levels before and until the end of your periods which may cause these cravings. 

You can give in to your desires and get yourself a bowl of spicy ramen if that will help you. However, having too much spicy food to satisfy your savings during periods can harm your health.

Is spicy food cravings good for you?

This might sound surprising, but giving in to your spicy food craving might be beneficial for you. Most people try to resist their urge to consume spicy foods, but this is completely the opposite of what you should be doing. Some of the benefits of having spicy food are:

  • It may decrease the risk of several diseases which ultimately decreases mortality risk.
  • It also helps to improve cardiovascular functioning and metabolic regulation.
  • It also reduces your cholesterol level.
  • It helps to control inflammation.
  • It might benefit if you are suffering from rhinitis.
  • It also may reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Here are some delicious spicy food recipes if you’re craving something hot and spicy.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Why am I craving spicy food?”. We have also discussed if we have spicy food cravings during periods. Moreover, we have also talked about the benefits of consuming spicy food.



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