In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Why does milk help with spice?”. We will also discuss why milk helps with spice but not water and if all dairy products and acidic fruits help with spice. Moreover, we will also talk about what you should avoid while eating spicy food and also some tips on how you can adapt to spicy food.
Why does milk help with spice?
Milk helps with spice tolerance because it contains a protein called casein, which is capable of breaking down capsaicin – the chemical compound responsible for the burning sensation in your tastebuds while you’re eating spicy food.
Drinking cool milk can help to bind with the capsaicin in your mouth and reduce the hot sensation due to spices.
Why does milk help with spicy food but water doesn’t?
As we discussed above milk contains casein which is capable of breaking down capsaicin, and washing away the burn. Because capsaicin is fat-soluble, rinsing with milk fat can help alleviate the burn, which is not the case for water.
Capsaicin is not soluble in water, so drinking water may make the sensation last even longer.
While milk neutralizes spicy foods, water may have a reverse effect and spread the heat in your mouth to an even larger area. So always go for cold milk instead of water if you want to kill your burning sensation.
Do all dairy products help with spice?
Most dairy products help with spice, if not all of them. Is not about being a dairy product but containing casein that can wash away all your burning sensations. So make sure you consume a milk-based product that contains casein.
Some of the dairy products that can help with spicy food are cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese, or sour cream. Do not use almond, coconut, or soy milk as they do not have casein and will only make your spicy sensation worse.
Do acidic products also help with spice?
Yes, you can also go for acidic fruits or drink some acidic juice to help with spicy food. Since capsaicin is an alkaline molecule, its activity can be neutralized by balancing it with an acid. This means that it works the same way as milk and neutralizes the taste of spicy food in your mouth.
You can have acidic fruit drinks like lemonade, limeade, orange juice, or a tomato-based food item or drink to cool down your mouth or wash away all the spicy sensations.
What should I not take while eating spicy food?
Don’t ever drink water or alcohol while eating spicy food. Drinking a lot of water in the delusional belief that it will calm them down is one of the most common misconceptions people have while eating spicy food.
Since capsaicin is an oil, drinking water further spreads it around your mouth, activating even more pain receptors. Although cold water feels great in your mouth, the experience will not necessarily last.
Likewise, alcohol has been effectively used in healing your physical wounds, but when it comes to dulling the burning pain, the amount of alcohol required to effectively relieve pain is much more than you can imagine.
This will only cause you more damage so it is not advised to drink alcohol to relieve the burning sensation due to spicy food.
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What are the tips to adapt to spicy food?
Some of the tips to adapt to spicy food are:
- Try to eat something spicy every week to slowly level up your spice tolerance.
- Move from mild spices to hot spices.
- Eat slowly to increase your spicy food tolerance.
- Drink milk to neutralize your spicy food.
- Always start your spice intake with the lowest level of spice and hotness and slowly work your way up.
- Drink ice water or acidic water instead of normal water as normal water might make your burning sensation worse.
- While you eat your spicy food, munch on something rough to distract your taste buds from the spice.
- Keep starchy food like potato or bread next to you if you’re about to have something spicy as they help to absorb the capsaicin and create a barrier.
- Breathing through your mouth while you eat can lessen the heat.
- You can consume butter or cheese to cool down your stomach as saturated fat from dairy can help to cool your digestive tract.
In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Why does milk help with spice?” We have also discussed why milk helps with spice but not water and if all dairy products and acidic fruits help with spice. Moreover, we have also talked about what you should avoid while eating spicy food and also some tips on how you can adapt to spicy food.