Do Spicy Foods Really Cause Heartburn?

It is a common perception that spicy food causes heartburn.

In fact many people would list spicy food to be one of the worst offenders for triggering the heartburn.

Yet when it comes to scientific studies, there is little evidence that spicy or hot food can cause heartburn or the acid reflux disease.

How can this be?

Let’s revisit what is the real cause of GERD or the acid reflux disease. GERD is caused when acid spills into the esophagus from the stomach. This can happen for a couple of reasons.

When the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the valve between the esophagus and the stomach is relaxed the acid from stomach spills into the esophagus. Or when the stomach is overfilled, it puts extra pressure on the valve and acidic contents may leak into the esophagus.

The esophagus is not used to acidic content and when acid spills into the esophagus you get the feeling of burning near the area where the heart is. We call this heartburn.

Spicy foods contain capsaicin. This is the compound responsible for the burning sensation that we feel when we eat such food. But capsaicin is not acidic. It is actually basic.

If capsaicin in the spicy food is not acidic, how can it contribute to heartburn? We just saw that acidic content in the esophagus is the main reason for the heartburn.

When we eat spicy food we do feel a burning sensation in our mouth and esophagus. Because capsaicin causes the burning sensation along the digestive tract. Capsaicin causes burning sensation not only in the mouth or the esophagus but also in the colon or the rectal area.

But burning from the spicy or hot food is a distinct feeling compared to the heartburn. People may be confusing these two feelings.

If you have suffered from the acid reflux disease, your esophagus lining may be inflamed and it may be more severely irritated by the spicy food compared to the esophageal lining of a person who don’t have GERD.

Another suggested theory is that capsaicin may be triggering more acid production in the stomach. If this were true, it would explain why such foods would trigger heartburn.

Unfortunately there isn’t enough scientific evidence to prove this theory. Some trials have in fact shown that capsaicin does in fact triggers increase in the gastric acid production.

But other scientific trials have shown exactly opposite to be true. These trials have shown that capsaicin actually reduces the gastric acid production. It has also been shown that capsaicin actually has preventive or beneficial effects against too much gastric acid production.

It has been observed that certain cultures where hot food is more popular, the occurrence of stomach ulcers are less compared to the cultures where spicy foods are not that popular.

Many times when people eat spicy food they actually overeat and their heartburn is triggered by overeating and not the spicy food itself.

For some people capsaicin may very well be triggering extra gastric acid production. This may be leading to the heartburn for them. The key is to see what exactly is causing your heartburn.

You should keep a food diary and when heartburn strikes you have to recall and write what it was that you ate. You need to experiment to find out whether you are sensitive to capsaicin or not.

Eat hot food but don’t overeat and see whether you get heartburn. The next time eat hot food and overeat and see whether your acid reflex is triggered or not. You may find out that you were unnecessarily avoiding spicy food, fearing that it was causing heartburn for you.

To summarize, spicy and hot foods do not necessarily cause acid reflux. You may or may not be sensitive to such food when it comes to the heartburn.

The Truth on Weight Loss with Spicy Food

Everybody seems to have their own ideas on how to lose weight. Atkins and Banting suggested low-carbohydrate diet plans, the South Beach does away with bad carbohydrates and fats, and the Beverly Hills diet wants weight watchers to go with an all-fruit meal. Then there are some people who think that eating spicy foods will help them lose weight faster than you can say overweight.

Spicy foods have always figured in various native delicacies in different cultures. Black pepper, for example, is an antioxidant and it also has antibacterial effects. Cayenne pepper is touted to boost the immune system and clear congestion. Eating spicy food also increases the endurance of athletes and also helps in treating osteoarthritis.

Interestingly, among the many benefits of eating spicy food came the idea that it can actually aid in weight loss.

Weight loss with spicy dood: Fact or myth?

There is an ongoing debate on whether or not one can achieve weight loss with spicy food. The idea is that spicy foods increase your body’s metabolic rate which makes you digest your food faster. Basically, spices improve digestion by increasing the hydrochloric secretion in the stomach. This is what increases your metabolic rate. With increased metabolism comes increased absorption rate. When there is increased absorption, then the body is able to utilize the stuff that you ate for your daily activities so almost nothing really stays put. Ergo, you lose weight.

Some experts believe that while it’s true that spicy food can increase the body’s metabolism, the increase is not really as substantial as we would like to think. The increased digestive rate after eating spicy food isn’t so high as to affect weight loss. Still, there are some other people who look at it from a different standpoint.

Spicy food makes us eat less

There are only a few of us who have a high tolerance for spicy food. Logically, when a meal is spiked with pepper, we have a tendency to eat less. Cayenne pepper, for example, has capsaicin, which among others has shown to help the body burn fats and reduce the appetite. According to some scientists, cayenne increases the level of epinephrine and norepinephrine in the body which causes us to feel less hungry. Spices enhance the flavor of any food which provides the a satisfied sensation to the palate. Eating spicy food makes us eat less which explains why people connect weight loss with spicy food. As thermogenic herbs, spices helps the body burn more calories in food especially when eating a meal high in fat. This is by increasing blood circulation and the body’s temperature. In this regard, spices are also capable of stimulating the break down of fat cells thus aiding in weight loss.

So in a sense, weight loss with spicy food sounds logical enough to be true.

But…

With this explanation in hand, more and more people strongly believe that eating spicy food can aid weight loss. Unfortunately, eating spicy foods is not without a negative consequence. Eating spicy food can also cause stomach ulcers. Spices can also cause GERD or acid reflux. Moderation is really the key. Don’t overeat on spicy foods especially if you have a sensitive stomach. Acid reflux usually happens to obese people so if you’re trying weight loss with spicy food, you may want to think this over. Maybe you can go on the spicy food diet as a sort of supplement to another weight loss plan instead of using it as your basic means of burning calories.

Aside from acid reflux, spices can also irritate your digestive tract and mess up digestion. Too much spicy food can also wreak havoc on your sense of taste. Over time, you won’t be able to enjoy food in its natural state.

Heads-up

If you’re still hell-bent on going on the idea of weight loss with spicy food, you may want to keep a few tips in mind before going on a curry overload.

Try to test your tolerance for spicy food in small amounts first. Make sure to put in just small amounts of it in your meals. As you go along, feel free to increase the servings according to your taste. Remember not to eat too much of it though because as it was mentioned, spicy food in large amounts isn’t good for your stomach.

Spicy Chicken

Eating spicy food gives the spice lovers an intense feeling of heat coming from their mouth and delivers an enjoyment after tasting their most delicious part of the food, the spice. These spices can give some people the burning sensation in their mouth and surprisingly, most people enjoy it.

There are so many spices you can discover around the world, from Africa to Asia and Asia to Europe. Most of the time, people just don’t eat spices in raw form but there are chili recipes they could enjoy. Spices give off the flavor of the recipe. People commonly remember chili foods by how it tastes, how good it is, how it can give the burst of heat feeling in every bite and how can it be remembered as the best chili recipe you have tasted.

Oftentimes, people discover and create variety of chili recipes. The simplest, easiest and yet the best chili recipe for most chili lovers is the tasty chicken. Spicy chicken could be done at home and one does not need to be a pro to prepare this chili recipe. Most restaurants offer their customers their very own specialty of spiced chicken and, of course, they claim it to be the best chili recipe in town.

Spicy chicken sounds plain but by the time you have a taste of it, the more you are convinced that this recipe could give you an impact and the burst feeling of heat in your mouth. The more you think and try to remember that spicy foods hurts your mouth, think again and try to taste the delicious spiced chicken.

People can choose from various types of cooking in spicy chicken. The Asian inspired chicken would be the very best one to try. This Asian inspired chicken gives you right amount of spiciness and the burst of feeling from the chili that was added on. And for most people, Asian spicy chicken, would be the best chili recipe you could try.

Without the chili factor in the hot chicken, spice lovers would never adore it. The crispier chicken you have, the more your spicy chicken taste good. Serving your chicken should be hot and remember to add the chili. Having the chicken served hot could make it more tempting to eat by adults and kids. Spicy chicken could be served with mashed potatoes and some crispy garlic bread. Spicy chicken could be served with some soda and orange juice. Spicy chicken could also be served during lunch or dinner and for better results, try adding it on a picnic with family and friends.

Getting to Know Delicious Indonesian Dishes

I can say that Indonesia is ‘heaven for food lovers’. You can find any kind of food from local to international dishes. But when you are travelling to Indonesia, don’t waste your money to taste anything except the local food.

Eating Indonesian food can be an interesting experience. The diversity of the country will bring you to taste variety of foods. Each of Indonesia’s ethnic groups uses the country’s entire rich array of the spices, but each has its own combinations and tastes: spicy, sweet, hot and sour.

Padang cuisine (or Indonesian calls it Masakan Padang) is probably the most popular across the country. Padang or Minangkabau is the capital city of West Sumatra. Their local specialities are very delicious and you can find their restaurants in every region in Indonesia. Padang/Minang restaurants are easily recognizable by the neatly stacked food basins in their windows. What makes them unique is how they serve the food. When you come to the restaurant (especially the big ones), the waiter will come to you with array of dishes all deftly balanced on his left arm and will place the food on the table in a kind of Asian buffet. Then you can choose which food you would like to eat … they will bring you different kind of dishes, from stewed meats, fish, eggs, chicken and curry.

The famous-mouth-watering speciality from Padang is Rendang Sapi , a spice-encrusted dry beef dish cooked for a long time in coconut milk. But they have some other delicious meals such as Dendeng Balado – it’s a beef served with a hot chilli sauce and Gulai Daun Pakis – its fern tips cooked with coconut milk or red snapper curries. But be aware, some of Padang dishes are very spicy. To cook 300 grams of chillies to 1 kg of meat is not unusual. If you are a spicy food lover, it’s definitely for you. Otherwise you don’t need to worry, they usually serve chilli sauce, or as Indonesian calls it the ‘sambal’, separately and used as condiments or dips.

Manado, northern Sulawesi is a largely agricultural island where coffee, coconut, nutmeg and cloves are the big money-earners. Other Indonesians think that Minahasan food has to be plastered with chilli paste to taste good. Their speciality like Ayam Bakar Rica (grilled chicken) is usually very spicy. Other popular traditional dish is Bubur Manado – rice porridge with different kind of condiments and side dishes such as shredded chicken, sweet soy sauce, dried anchovies, and fried shallots and of course chopped chillies.

If you like less spicy food, some regions on Java have it. For example Jakarta’s food tastes sweet because every dish seems to include palm sugar and sweet soy sauce ( kecap manis ). Semur – Dutch inspired smothered beef with Chinese-Indonesian sweet soy sauce, nutmeg and cloves – is one of their specialities. Other speciality like fried rice ( Nasi Goreng ) and fried noodle ( Bakmi Goreng ) originated from China but then were adapted to the Indonesian tastes until they became ones of Indonesia famous specialities. Otherwise Nasi Goreng and Bakmi Goreng can be found almost in every restaurant across the country.

In Yogjakarta, Central of Java, the typical dishes are Nasi Gudeg , made of young jack-fruit and boiled eggs stewed in coconut milk with a mixture of spices, so the taste is sweet; Ayam Goreng Kalasan – local organic free-range chicken, stewed in spices (coriander, garlic candlenut and coconut water) then fried, served with sambal and raw vegetables salad.

When you travel to East Java, toward Surabaya, you will find another traditional type of food. Sate Madura , a chicken satay from Madura (an island in East Java) is one among others that is really popular. In fact it’s one of the most popular dishes across Asia. Then there are also Soto Ayam Madura – a chicken soup, Rawon – a delicious beef soup that has black colour because it’s made from Kluwak (Pangium edule) nuts, Rujak Cingur – a mixture of raw and boiled vegetable salad served with boiled beef snout (cingur) and poured with sauce made from peanuts, chilli and dried shrimp paste ( petis udang ), Lontong Balap – a healthy vegetarian dish containing compressed rice ( lontong ), fried tofu, lentho made of red soy bean, bean sprouts, and sweet soy sauce and Tahu Campur – a beef soup mixed with fresh vegetables, cassava cake, tofu and serve a mixture of dried shrimp paste ( petis udang ), chilli and garlic.

Bali as the most visited tourist place in Indonesia is filled with five stars hotels and villas all around the area, but that doesn’t mean it has only international food atmosphere. There are two Balinese specialities, Babi Guling and Bebek Betutu. Babi Guling is a grilled suckling pig with crispy skin. Most Indonesians don’t eat pork, especially Moslems. But here, pork is eaten because most of Balinese are Hindus, and they don’t eat beef. Bebek Betutu is a duck delicacy, where the fowl is marinated with many different herbs and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and then baked over a low flame. You can also try Balinese type of satay or they call it Sate Lilit , made from fish minced meat with freshly grated coconut, prawn paste, garlic, chillies, lemon leaves and salt to compose a sticky, dough-like mixture then wrapped around using spears of fresh lemongrass as skewers, and cook them over fire coming from coconut husks rather than charcoal. It is served with either mild or peppery sauce.

Travelling around Indonesia can prove to be a real challenge for your cuisine curiosity. The country is not just offering the beauty, but also will spoil your craving for delicious food. If you want to taste something different, then Indonesia is the right place. As the nation with more than 17.000 islands, Indonesia is a heaven of good food that will awake all of your senses.

China Sichuan Cuisine For People Who Like Spicy Food

Sichuan Cuisine, known more commonly in the West as “Szechuan,” is one of the most famous Chinese cuisines in the world. Characterized by its spicy and pungent flavors, Sichuan cuisine, with a myriad of tastes, emphasizes the use of chili.

Pepper and prickly ash are always in accompaniment, producing the typical exciting tastes. Garlic, ginger and fermented soybean are also used in the cooking process. Wild vegetables and meats such as are often chosen as ingredients, while frying, frying without oil, pickling and braising are used as basic cooking techniques.

It can be said that one who doesn’t experience Sichuan food has never reached China.

Typical menu items: Hot Pot; Smoked Duck; Kung Pao Chicken; Water-Boiled Fish; Tasty and Spicy Crab; Twice Cooked Pork; Mapo Tofu

Hope the above menu food names don’t confuse you, because it’s really hard to accomplish a perfect English version menu for Sichuan Cuisine

This has been a headache for the Beijing government. Olympic Game 2008 will soon to come. Many foreigners will flow to China and come to Chinese restaurant. When they choose a Sichuan cuisine restaurant and began to see the menu, some of them may be shocked by the “horrable” food name and fleek away.

See some of these absode name now available in some of the Sichuan restaurant:

Manand Wife Lung Slice

Slobbering Chicken

Chicken Without Sexual Life

So funny to the last one. Actually these are all tasty food and beverage known to the Chinese. But they really need a better name.

Among the eight major cuisines of China, Sichuan Cuisine is the most popular.

Sichuan dish is good at agile exertion and specific managing according to material, climate and the diners’ requests. More that 30 methods of cooking are included — stir fry, sauté, deep fry, grill, preserve, bittern, bake and pickle.

As the production develops and economy prospers, Sichuan absorbs the strength of northern and southern food to form a fusion between a northern dish with Sichuan style and a southern dish with Sichuan taste. It is complemented as “Food in China, taste in Sichuan.”

Sichuan concentrates on the changing of taste, which differs in thickness and heaviness. You can not make a Sichuan dish without chili, prickly ash and pepper. Chili, for example, can be used in various ways. Sometimes it can be the main ingredient, or sometimes it can be a secondary ingredient used for seasoning. The taste of Sichuan can differ largely according to climate and the diner’s personal tastes. For instance, the hotness is quite rich in winter and spring because the weather is cold. However the hotness should be reduced by 30% in summer and autumn due to the warm and dry weather. The taste of Sichuan is very delicate and flexible. Therefore, Sichuan is famous for its rich, thick and heavy flavor in addition to its lightness. People who have eaten Sichuan keep praising it and can not forget the beautiful experience.

3 Characteristics of Sichuan Cuisine

Sichuan Cuisine traces back to the ancient Ba Kingdom (modern Chongqing) and Shu Kingdom (modern Chengdu) and is remarkable for its oily and hot taste . This is due to the foggy , cloudy and damp climate in the Sichuan Basin . Hot food is useful for dispersing dampness . Sichuan folks are keen for hot oxen’s giblet pot , hot beancurd and other hot foods .

Another characteristic of the Chuan cuisine is its preparation of different dishes with the same raw material . With a piece of half-fat , half-lean pork , Sichuan cooks can prepare a number of different dishes with different flavors , such as salted-fried pork slices , re-cooked pork slices , sweet and hot shredded pork , fried pork cubes , sliced pork cooked with rice crust , sweet steamed pork chunks , salty steamed pork chunks , pork steamed with ground glutinous rice , white cut hot pork ,etc.

The third characteristic of the Sichuan cuisine is the tasty snacks , including hot ox-head meat , spiced chicken , tea-stewed ducking , marinated rabbit meat , pickled vegetables , dumplings , eight-treasure rice puddings ,etc.

Learn to cook yourself

Many travelers know Sichuan cuisine for its “hot and spicy” flavors or a few of its most famous dishes, but that is only the beginning.Sichuan cuisine is legendary in China for its sophistication and diversity.the regional cuisine boasts 5,000 different dishes.

Sichuan cuisine has enjoyed a worldwide reputation. However, most people immediately think of Sichuan food soon after it is mentioned as a hot or spicy food.It is undear how the red pepper was introduced to Sichuan. You may wonder why the red pepper is so popular. Here is a common explanation.Sichuan has a humid climate that encourages people to eat strongly spiced foods.the red pepper may help reduce internal dampness. Some kitchenware used in cooking sichuan food is also different from others.

Sichuan pepper is another important daily use ingredient in Sichuan cooking.It is known as huajiao(flower pepper).It is the Chinese pepper, and it looks like a reddish brown fruit.the peppercorn comes from the prickly ash tree.the pepper flower creates a most sudden numbing effect on one`s tongue.

Sichuan cuisine so carefully balances color,smell,flavor, shape and nutrition that its dishes not only look pleasant and appealing,bu also nutritious.In Sichuan recipes there are several hundred popular dishes.Sichuan cuisine is able to prduce 100 different flavored dishes!Besides, Sichuan cooks provide dishes that are intentionally toned down for tourists at home and abroad. they have no difficulty in getting Sichuan food that suits their tastes whether it`s in a banquet,outstanding lunches,dinners,or snacks.