If you’re travelling through Mexico then you’re going to need to learn how to recover from eating spicy food. Spicy chilli is what authentic Mexican food is all about the chances are it won’t be long before a hidden habanero gets you! But don’t worry its all part of ‘the experience’ and if you follow our simple guide, when the time comes to extinguish a spicy food oral inferno you’ll be ship shape and ready for your next tinga taco in no time!
So here it is our guide on how to recover from spicy food!
1. Don’t Drink Water
Capsicum (the spicy chemical in chillies) in insoluble in water. This means that a large slug of water will do nothing to help you recover. If it’s relief you’re after, leave water well alone, as it won’t help you recover from spicy food.
2. Drink Milk Or Any Other Dairy
Milk and other dairy contain a protein called casein which dissolves the burn-inducing capsaicin molecules that bind to your tongue when eating chilli. Drink a cold glass of cow’s milk and be sure to wash it around your mouth before you swallow it.
3. Drink Lots Of Beer
The good news is that as well as chilli peppers, the other thing Mexico has in great abundance is great tasting beer. Unlike water, capsicum is soluble in Alcohol and the pain is simply washed away. If you’re in a lot of pain, try a stronger Alcohol drink such a tequila or Mezcal.
4. Eat Something Greasy
Unlike water, Capsicana is soluble in oil meaning that anything greasy is a great cure to recover from spicy food. If you’re in Mexico, your suffering would be a great excuse to try a Queso Fundido, otherwise, swirl a spoon full of vegetable oil around your mouth and spit it out.
5. Rice, Bread & Other Starchy Foods
More of a sponge than a detergent this one. It won’t dissolve the pain-causing capsaicin molecules found in spicy food, but it will pick many of them up.
The Scoville heat scale, used to measure the heat of chillies, was originally conceived based on the amount of sugar water needed to dilute a given chilli. Stir a spoonful of sugar into a small glass of water. Or why not combine a few of the above and stir some honey into a White Russian.
7. Classic Remedies/Old Wives Tales
Most of the weird and wonderful advice given to remedy the painful effects of eating chilli are based on the proven science outlined above.
However, what to do after eating spicy food in terms of home remedies or old wives tales? Here are just a handful of them: Cucumber, touch the burn with a soft corn tortilla, ice cream, banana, toothpaste, lemon/lime juice, chocolate.
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This blog was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated in July 2020 with added content