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Does Chile Really Warm You Up? PDF Print E-mail

A: Hello Chuck:

Chiles do increase blood circulation, which warms you up.  Not by being eaten, though—but rather by being rubbed on your skin!

--Dave

 

Q: Sorry Dave, but I disagree.  I live in ND where we generally have 5 to 6 months of winter, often getting down between -10 to -20 without the wind chill, and as cold as -100 or more with the wind chill.  One of the most important aspects of staying warm around here is to keep your inner furnace stoked with hot food and drink.  I have found that, by adding spicy food like extreme chile, my inner furnace seems to stay stoked really well for a very long time compared to just hot food and drink.  Some good hot chile-based food and layered clothing, and before long you almost look forward to stepping out to cool off a bit.

--MH

 

A: Hello Mike:
There is a big debate about this.  Some people claim that ingested capsaicin does 
warm you up, while others say that the sensation is psychological.  We do know, 
however, that topically applied capsaicin is a rubefacient, bringing blood to 
the skin.  I say if eating chile to keep you warm works for you, go for it!
--Dave

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