One of the greatest chile benefits is that it is a food with the ability to release endorphins, natural painkillers triggered to put out internal “fire.” Endorphins also cause the high of extreme physical exertion. And this floating, energized feeling is so powerful in its pleasure that it can cause addiction to spicy cuisine.
The benefits of endorphins
And as a lead-up to that rush of endorphins, chile peppers will raise heart rate, replicating those feelings of excitement from building lust. And, according to an article published in Clinical Nutrition, as they make your heart flutter, chiles can also positively impact your energy level.
So powerful is its chest-thumping ability, chiles from Anaheim peppers to Thai chiles have actually been administered as an antidote for heart attacks. True, it might take a lot of chile to make the heart pulse and the eater to experience an endorphin high. But even a tiny nibble can have an aphrodisiac effect.
Exploring the varieties of chiles
Each of the hundreds of chile varieties produces a different level of heat and subtly unique flavor. Chipotles promise a smokiness, from which even the merest whiff is arousing. Habaneros are among the most hot, thereby the most dangerous. The many varieties of Thai chiles also pack a punch of heat.
Here’s one of my favorite tips on getting just the right level of spice: the heat of chile peppers is concentrated in the veins. To decrease heat, remove the veins before cooking the peppers.
Why chile is an aphrodisiac food
Historically, chile peppers were used by multiple cultures not only as an aphrodisiac but as an anesthetic, to promote cardiovascular health and to alleviate chronic pain. In one of my favorite anecdotes, the great ruler Montezuma was said to drink a chile and chocolate drink, which was really more like unsweetened cacao spiked with chile in order to have the strength to service his harem of women every day.
But we now have a greater understanding of just what it is that makes this food a truly effective aphrodisiac. In fact, to say that spicy food can turn you on might be an understatement.
Among the benefits of chiles, as little as a pinch of chile powder can raise body temperature and get you in the mood to tear off your clothes. It also makes lips plump up with kissable softness and desirability. In fact, it is said that all the heat can telegraph the visual cues of a sexual flush. This sexy physical attribute can put a lover’s mind in the mood with as little as one delicious glance.
Of course, you don’t need multiple cups of a spicy chocolate drink to appreciate the effects of this powerful spice. Instead, make something perhaps a little more practical and palatable. Try the Chocolate-Kissed White Bean Chili from my cookbook Romancing the Stove.
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