Beer and spicy curries work famously together. Science says there is an explanation as to why this combination is a glorious one.
A study led by South Korea’s Busan National University discovered why spicy food enthusiasts are more prone to suffer from alcoholism.
As it turns out, booze and spicy food stimulate the same part of the brain, triggering a slow release of pleasurable endorphins.
So when you’re guzzling down spices, the same receptors that alcohol triggers will be activated in your brain. If spicy food is your guilty pleasure, then you’re more susceptible to having unhealthy drinking habits. People who love their food with a bit of fire will get the same kick out of an alcoholic beverage. Even if they might not be conscious of it!
Professor Kim, a psychiatry professor who hosted the study, found that not only are these habits connected but a drug called Naltrexone can stop this temptation altogether. Naltroxene is administered to curb alcohol addiction, and its effects are transferable to people that prefer their food peppery.
"Naltrexone blocks the opioid system's activation [which is] initiated by drinking; they do not feel the pleasure any more if they keep taking the medication,” Professor Kim said.
Next time you’re reaching for that spicy stir-fry, be careful that this doesn’t turn into a full-blown alcohol binge. The temptation is real.