18 Possible Reasons for Your Spicy Food Craving

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People like and seek spicy food as it makes them feel good, thanks to endorphins. These are the same hormones that make riding roller coasters and working out enjoyable. The chemical compound capsaicin present in hot peppers causes the body to release endorphins while eating spicy food. So it’s not weird at all when you have cravings for a hot plate of schezwan fried rice.

Reasons for Your Spicy Food Craving

Spicy Food Cravings 

Spicy food is a staple diet in many regions around the world. As many people’s taste buds begin to obsess over hot, spicy flavours, this style of food is growing in popularity every day. 

Chilli peppers are now the most popular hot condiment. Culinary psychologists are unsure of the root cause of a person’s increased craving for spicy foods. 

Capsaicinoids in chillies essentially give the brain the feeling that a person is in pain. The pain of spicy foods will be reduced after the brain receives the signal by releasing endorphins and also dopamine.

Endorphin release is critical for the overall mood and sense of pleasure. It can relieve stress and counteract the negative consequences of depression. This is why engaging in physical activity boosts the mood and sense of worth. 

In certain ways, spicy food enables the endorphin magic to enhance the food. While the endorphins produced by a food certainly won’t be as efficient as those released by the body during workouts, the chemical reaction is nonetheless distinct and is a solid reason for the appetite for hot food.

The effects of spicy food are especially beneficial in warm or hot weather since they can help us chill down. Eating hot peppers can make a person sweat, which is the body’s response to the burning sensation. So it’s not a bad idea at all to top our sandwiches with a hot chilli sauce or pizzas with chilli flakes. It cools a person, releases endorphins, and it tastes amazing.

Reasons for Craving Spicy Foods 

Hormonal Imbalance 

Hormonal fluctuations during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle or a week before the period might also make a woman crave food. 

There is little information that proves the pre-period desire for spicy meals. So now it is known why a woman craves spicy foods the week before their period.


Dieting is one of the causes of a need for spicy food. Nutritional deficiencies or the suppression of desires for particular foods can be the main causes of diet-induced cravings. People may crave spicy foods if their bodies lack capsaicin, a key component of chillies, or if they have suppressed their cravings because of certain restrictions.

To adjust to a cold environment.

The capsaicin found in chilli peppers can raise body temperature and may impact the body’s regulatory system’s warm receptors. Therefore, eating spicy foods that are high in capsaicin can help stimulate the sense of warmth in one’s body and may help one adjust to the cold temperature of the surroundings when the environment is cool, or one feels cold.


Cravings can become intense during pregnancy and can begin as early as week five. The mood-swing hormones are to blame as they can also cause sensory alterations that have an impact on how a person perceives various foods.

Admittedly, there is very no data demonstrating that expectant mothers become obsessed with spicy foods. According to a study, cravings for sweet things are much more prevalent than spicy ones.

Every individual is unique, and pregnancy has various effects on each person. One such effect is the increased cravings for spicy foods.


Stress might make some people reach for the refrigerator or pantry first. A study revealed that it is mainly for foods that are actually high in fat or refined carbs.

Since we usually look for comfort when life feels out of control. For many, this entails indulging in foods like ice cream, mac & cheese or chips. However, one might be more inclined to choose spicy flavours when they are stressed rather than times when they feel content and love.

Eating disorders 

There is a connection between food cravings and eating disorders, including emotional eating, binge eating and overeating. Eating disorders and food cravings are known to have a link with experiential avoidance, which refers to attempts to avoid behaviours, including physiological sensations, thoughts and emotions. 

When a person suppresses or ignores their emotions, they become more prone to overeating (emotional eating) in an effort to reduce their negative feelings. They experience eating issues as a result of this. Similar to this, occasionally, an individual with an eating disorder may also seek out spicy meals to manage their disorder.

Increase in brain activity 

Increased brain activity may also increase cravings for spicy meals. People who crave spicy food may have higher activity in specific brain regions, including the left putamen, left dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral cuneus and right precentral gyrus. These parts of the brain are involved in functions like movement, learning, cognition and motor control. As these activities increase, so does brain activity, which enhances the desire for spicy food.

Social influences 

Societal influences on our eating habits may include cultural expectations or the eating habits of others around us. Whatever our personal dietary preferences, it is more likely that we will begin to adopt the eating habits of others around us or those who share our culture. As a result, if a person comes from a society where spicy cuisine is highly valued, there is a likelihood that they will also exhibit the same behaviours.


Antidepressant properties of capsaicin have been linked to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression. Capsaicin, even in small doses, can assist the body in producing effects similar to those of an antidepressant and reduce depression. 

Since the pungency of capsaicin in these foods may help lower their depressive symptoms and give them a feeling of pleasure, people who are sad or have chronic anxiety may crave them.


The endorphins that capsaicin produces can offer genuine relief. For the purpose of sustaining suffering, the body might be craving hot food.

Require a burst of energy

Spicy foods’ ability to raise the heart rate and provide energy may be something a person wants while feeling lethargic.

To let the body, cool off

The capsaicin in chilli peppers causes the body to sweat. The body cools down from that sweat. This is a significant factor in the prevalence of eating spicy cuisine in hot climates and during the summer.

The gut and circulation are both acting up.

Capsaicin plays a role in both issues, and the cravings could be a sign that the body is in need of relief.

Attempting to trim down

The accelerated metabolism serves as a complimentary appetite suppressor. The body may seek spicy food while trying to eat less by doing so.

The sinuses, allergies, flu and cold may clean up as a result of that increased capsaicin in the food. 

Not feeling well

The “runner’s high” that capsaicin produces can make an individual feel better. Therefore, while feeling down, the body might be trying to find a way to lift the spirits and make a person active.


It goes without saying that some people prefer spicy foods to sweet ones. Given that, it is not unexpected to discover that they enjoy spicy foods like chicken. Likeliness and perhaps increased consumption of spicy food have been connected to personality.


A craving for savoury, salty or spicy meals may also be brought on by emotions. When a person seeks comfort food, emotions might cause food cravings. Exercise extreme caution when giving in to food cravings brought on by comfort eating. Most of the time, people choose foods deficient in important nutrients, which can lead to various nutritional deficiencies, especially if the behaviour persists.


  • Spicy foods are a healthy addition to a balanced diet that you can enjoy, but some people may need to use caution and restrict their intake.
  • For instance, eating spicy food may worsen acid reflux for those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Regular consumption of spicy foods may also increase the chance of developing peptic ulcers, chronic gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • While eating spicy foods during pregnancy is generally regarded as safe, one may need to limit their intake if they have heartburn or indigestion symptoms.
  • The capsaicin present in spicy meals has the potential to cause symptoms including diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or stomach cramps if ingested in high quantities.
  • As a result, a person should consume spicy foods in moderation and cut them out of the diet if they start to feel unwell.


There is no conclusive evidence for the obsession with spicy food, but there are many distinct things that might be the cause. 

While occasionally consuming spicy food is acceptable, doing so regularly can cause digestive problems. Keeping in mind the health of the digestive system, it is advisable to eat spicy food sparingly as it can lead to indigestion, acidity and several other issues. 

Still, it’s probably not a bad thing when a person occasionally finds themselves in need of hot, spicy food! So, pay attention to hunger pangs and savour each steamy bite.


What is your body lacking if you crave spicy food? 

Food cravings, particularly for spicy foods, may also be brought on by hormonal imbalances. Serotonin and leptin are the hormones that will probably have an impact on dietary cravings. Cravings for spicy food can also be sparked by hormonal changes, especially those brought on by menstruation or pregnancy.

Can eating spicy food help depression?

Capsaicin has been found to act as an endorphin. The body responds to heat by producing endorphins, which confuse pain and act similarly to serotonin. This improves the mood and lowers the chances of stress or sadness.

Is spicy food good for memory? 

A diet high in capsaicin not only offers defence against cognitive decline but may also alter Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) like diseases in the brain. But a recent study found a link between eating more hot food and greater memory loss. So, further research is required to prove the claim.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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