Indulging in hot foods often becomes a point of pride for people; I've personally witnessed competitions to see who can stuff the most peppers in their mouth without crying. Sure, there's a thrill to it, but these little known dangers of eating spicy foods might make you think twice before the next time you agree to eat an entire jar of jalapeños in under five minutes. Don't say I didn't warn you.
You probably associate spicy foods with danger at least a little bit. They're exciting to eat because of the way your body reacts to them — the burning in your tongue, the sudden sweaty feeling, the watering of your eyes. Spicy foods have never been more popular, with QSR Magazine (a restaurant industry magazine) reporting that "consumer interest in hot and spicy ingredients has increased 10 years in a row." But these exhilarating foods have risks, and you don't want to accidentally get your body in trouble. Romper talked to Megan Meyer, PhD, and Kris Sollid, RD — Director and Senior Director of Science Communication at the International Food Information Council Foundation, respectively — about the hidden risks that come with consuming spicy foods.
Their first tip? Don't eat too much of a good thing. "[I] would caution people against consuming large amounts of extremely spicy peppers such as Carolina Reapers or Pepper X due to the high possibility that they will experience discomfort and pain," Meyers says. Read on for some more risks that come with binging on your favorite spicy ingredients, and remember, moderation is the key.