Friday, August 6, 2010

Those of you who gorge on spicy hot food, good for you!

This is what I read in the newspaper today.
Capsaicin , which is the main ingredient of chili peppers, relaxes blood vessels.
The scientific blah blah:
The ingredients work by activating a receptor channel found in the lining of blood vessels. This leads to a rise in production of nitric oxide, a gaseous molecule known to protect blood vessels against inflammation.
Pavan and me have always debated on the following topic. If we notice the diet of people living in hot climatic regions, its mostly spicy hot food. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Wouldn’t one feel like having ice-creams and yogurt sorbets when its hot?
Andhra Pradesh in India is the perfect example. There are regions in Andhra, like the coastal regions of Guntur and Krishna districts. The temperatures here reach up to 48 C in summer (that’s 118F) in the day.
The people eat so spicy here, one can literally feel your insides on fire. Most of the poor people’s diet consists of rice, salt and Chili pepper powder.  The pickles and chutneys (or  pachadies) are fiery hot. Korivi Khaaram, The spiciest of the pickles is made by grinding ripe red chilies (Pandu Mirapakaya) with tamarind and salt.  When ever, I’ve given this a try,  couldn’t stop my head from spinning.  How can they love this much heat in their food??
Eating hot food usually causes the body to sweat profusely and hence cools the body down. Does that make sense to you?  I remember watching a health channel once, which mentioned that capsaicin also helps in reducing weight. .
Scientists have now tested that chili peppers indeed helps with reducing your blood pressure. I, for one, can enjoy my spicy food even better now, although I don’t think I’ve been classified into the high blood pressure category yet but, I could get there soon.
Well, if my kids keep at being themselves, and  I continue barking at them,  like I do everyday , and they keep getting immune to it, and I keep increasing my volume to keep up with their immunity, I will soon be classified a candidate for High BP.  Although, on the flip side, I have noticed that my base voice has improved a lot due to this exercise. I am able to take my voice a whole octave lower below the middle C. So, to improve my higher octave, I now practice shouting at them in the higher octave, since I want to improve my higher pitch. (101 steps to Practice singing in your talking voice.)
Yoga is another recipe that should have helped me, With Stephenie’s  Vinyasa and cooling routine that leaves me in such a calm state of mind. I come out of the class with the feeling:
“Nobody can make me angry today, try as much as you can”
and then I get home. Soon its 3.00pm and the school buses are moving, the kids get home, the kids are kids again, and I am back to being ME,  the barking continues… Mir chi…save me!

A tidbit: on capsaicin. If food is too hot/spicy to the tongue, milk products are the best bet to help the tongue. Milk is the antidote to capsaicin. That’s why, the people of Andhra finish of their meal either with butter milk or yogurt rice. If it gets on your skin, then, rubbing the skin with milk or yogurt should be very soothing to the skin.
Another tidbit, You could use capsaicin as a rodent repellent for your plants. Deer's, rabbits and insects leave the plant alone, when sprayed with capsaicin juice. Actually, one could prepare a much potent concoction from rotten eggs, and capsaicin which is super effective. It smells bad as well. Just to let you know, such sprays are available to buy at crazy prices in the USA, but, I still buy them, to save my tulips and Asiatic lilies and oriental lilies. The jungle bunnies love to bite the plants off to eat the lilies even as the buds start to appear and of course, which deer would leave a tulip alone.


Ramaa said...

Nice info...I never knew that milk helps to calm down a burning tongue.

gayatri said...

Yeah..much better than sugar or water that I've seen people do. Yogurt/buttermilk is good too.