Addiction is no joke and trying to kick any drug or bad habit can be a rough and bumpy road. Finding healthy replacements for getting that addictive buzz is a way for former addicts to transfer their addictions from artificial to natural highs.
Insert the power of spicy foods. Not only are they proven to have major health benefits relating to cardiovascular and anti-cancer properties, but spicy foods are also proven to give you a natural chemical high.
Here are 3 reasons former drug addicts are addicted to spicy foods:
- Capsaicin, a key compound in chili peppers, creates a burning sensation in the mouth and throughout the body which prompts the brain to release endorphins – like running a marathon except you can do this just standing outside the taco truck eating a spicy burrito. Your head feels all buzzy and can even produce numbness throughout the body. Some of the effects mimic those when high from hard drugs and alcohol.
- There is a thrill in doing something dangerous, like eating the world’s spiciest pepper. Thrill seekers and sensation seekers often try to top the effects of the thrills by turning to drugs. Eliminating drugs and replacing them with spicy foods can help to keep that “thrill” going without the damaging side effects. At some point addicts get desensitized by drugs and alcohol and keep consuming more in order to get that high. The effects of spicy foods happens minutes after consumption and can produce many of the same ethereal effects. Most addicts are looking for an instant reward, which is what eating spicy foods can provide.
- Part of recovery is adapting to a new healthy lifestyle which includes adding nutritional foods to your diet. Most addicts when coming off drugs crave child-favorite junk food like candy, grilled cheese, cereal, and ice cream. Adding hot sauce or cayenne pepper, in lieu of these foods, atop healthy foods like veggies and good protein can help satisfy these cravings and summon a natural high. Cayenne pepper can help increase appetite which is vital for a drug addict since most nutrients are being depleted from their bodies and they need to replenish with healthy foods.
Spicy foods can be a gateway to leading a healthier, and drug-free lifestyle for most addicts. Replacing a spicy food high with a chemical high can be just one way to make the transition easier.