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Can’t Handle the Heat?

I love spicy food, and today I ate a burger filled with jalapenos. I was wondering why some people can handle heat better than others and how our tongues gauge different amounts of heat.

The Scoville Scale

The amount of heat/spiciness that the pepper’s give is measured on the Scoville Scale. The higher the pepper is on the scale, the spicier it gets. 

food (2) Green Bell Pepper – 0 Units

food (1)Anaheim Pepper – 500-2,000 Units

food (3)Jalapeno Pepper – 2,500 – 8,000 Units

food (4)Cayenne Pepper – 30,000 – 50,000 Units

food (5) Habanero Pepper – 200,000 – 350,000 Units

food (6) Carolina Reaper – 1,569,300 Units!

**Peppers and scoville units provided by Business Insider

These are a few common peppers to gauge different levels of heat! Notice that the Carolina Reaper is about 200 times hotter than the hottest jalapeno pepper. That is insane! I will definitely stay from these since I can barely handle a jalapeno!

Why Does it HURT?!

According to wired.com, an active ingredient in spicy food known as capsaicin binds to a special class of vanilloid receptor inside our mouth. This receptor is called a VR1 receptor. Once capsaicin binds to these receptors, it sense out a sensory neuron to our brain, indicating the presence of spicy stimuli. 

A Strange Connection

The strange part regarding VR1 receptors is that it wasn’t designed to detect capsaicin. It binds to spicy food on accident. It was initially intended for thermoreception, which is to detect hot food –not necessarily spicy food. The sensation that is experienced by eating spicy food can be comparable to boiling water, but that pain is an illusory side-effect which confuses the neural receptors. 

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Moody for Music

Have you ever had a song that pumps you up, listen to a certain song when you’re sad, or want to jump up and dance? Apparently, different types of music affects your brain in certain ways.

Earlier today, I was listening to the radio and “Rock Bottom” by Hailee Steinfield came on. I’m not sure if the message behind the song is happy or not, but it was super catchy and brightened my morning.

Here’s the song in case you want to see how catchy it really is yourself!

The following song, which I was recently exposed to, is really upbeat and makes me want to dance every time it gets to that “techno” beat part.

According to Examined Existence, music taps into various parts of the brain, especially parts that deal with emotions and mood. The parts of the brain include the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and parietal lobe. Music can have the following affects:

Make You Happy
  • Soothing tunes apparently release serotonin your brain, which is a hormone that essentially makes an individual happy and have a sense of well-being.
Motivate You
  • Songs like “Eye of the Tiger” are filled with inspirational meanings. These messages are catchy and easy enough to sing with and can motivate you.
Reduce Stress
  • Listening to soothing sounds/music can relax the muscles in your body. It also helps bring down your breathing rate.
Modify Brain Waves
  • Music can also change your future mood. If you listen to a song that has positive vibes, they alter your brain waves and affect your future mood—even if the music is turned off.

 

 

 

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