Ever wondered why eating spicy foods is such a cool experience? It’s because one of the main compounds found in chilly ingredients, the capsaicin, plays mind tricks that make us think we taste something scalding hot.

To protect our tongue, the brain starts a sensation of pain. But the nervous system just won’t let you suffer with your mouth on fire. Your brain will then release endorphins to help you deal with pain.

So the next time you feel guilty about making your mouth suffer, it’s actually your nervous system at work, making you enjoy your food while giving you that hot, painful kick.

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