Nola Knows Best: How Can I Beat The Heat

Dear Nola,

I really enjoy spicy foods, but as I get older my body doesn’t like the food as much as my taste buds do. I have tried to cut down on the pepper but food just doesn’t taste the same without it. Do you have any advice on how I can I still take in the spicy food without the consequences? -Beat The Heat

Dear Beat The Heat,

Being an island woman myself, I have a palate that craves a little spice in my sumptuous meals. Pepper has plenty of health benefits from arthritis relief to serving as an aid to weight loss. However, in large doses pepper can wield unfortunate consequences to its consumption. Some common issues from high doses of capscium (another word for pepper) are heartburn and indigestion to name a few. If you are experiences these symptoms or others, you may need to dial down your capscium intake. Peppers vary in their degree of heat and are ranked by a scale called Scoville units. Caribbean foods typically use scotch bonnet pepper which 100,000-350,000 Scoville Units. Jalapeno’s, popular in comparison, most jalapeño peppers which are often found in Mexican dishes have a heat rating of 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale.

Your solution:

Make A Swap: Swap out your scotch bonnet pepper for the less spicy jalapeno pepper

Cool Things Down: Offset your spice with ingredients like mango or coconut milk. They temper the heat while complimenting it.

Monitor Your Pepper Intake: Try eating two spicy dinner dishes per week as a treat and take a mild flavored approach for the rest of the week.

If you use those three tips you will be able to enjoy fantastic food without forfeiting the spice, well at least not too much! Hope it helps!

-Nola


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