I have a saying that I find myself using every once in a while when talking to patients about hot & spicy food and why I don;t necessarily like it, which is "pain doesn't taste good". ;-) Well, I might want to get over that some day...
Because, new university studies out of Kansas have again confirmed what many people have known for a long time; that hot and spicy food can reduce pain... and quickly too.
If you have arthritis, you may be familiar with products that contain capsicum which is the hot and spicy molecule from hot chili peppers. Its the stuff that makes the top of my head sweat whenever I eat it. :-D One product that you may be familiar with is "Capzasin" creme which has hot pepper as its main active ingredient. Its applied topically where the pain is and it absorbs in through the skin.
Well, it also turns out that EATING hot peppers can also reduce pain very efficiently. It kicks up the bodies natural pain relievers called endorphins. Eating a serving of spicy food such as chili peppers has been shown to be able to reduce headache pain by 50% in under 10 minutes. That's pretty impressive.
So if you are dealing with stubborn, chronic pain, consider expanding your dietary horizons to experiment and discover new flavors. Maybe add some Indian spice to your soup or some hot sauce to your breakfast eggs... There are many ways to add hot pepper flavor to our meals very easily.
Best yet, its not known to interfere or interact with any of the more dangerous medications you are taking already. So you can easily add this to your stack of daily things you do to help reduce pain.