Try these 5 steps to improve your heat tolerance

hitte tolerantie verhogen met deze 5 stappen beter pittig leren eten

Are you or do you know someone who cannot tolerate spicy food and starts sweating at the idea of a little spice in their meal? Then we have good news, because they can also learn to appreciate spicy food. We didn’t really grow up in a household where spicy food was the staple, but we grew to love it and even started an online store dedicated to hot sauces. This requires some heat tolerance and with these 5 steps you too can increase your tolerance.

1. Baby steps

You don’t increase your tolerance by jumping straight into the deep end, but by taking baby steps. Start with some extra black pepper in your dish or sprinkle pepper flakes in your soup. Another good tip is to mix the sauces you normally use with a few drops of hot sauce. For example, think of mixing mayo or ketchup with a mild hot sauce or sriracha.

2. Focus on the flavours

A common mistake among people who “can’t handle spicy food” is that they focus entirely on the heat. Try to focus on the delicious flavours and aromas that are released when eating and then it will be nicer & more fun to eat more of it. Especially in the wonderful world of hot sauce, there are so many different flavours that you are guaranteed to find something you like.

3. Slowly build up the heat

Are your taste buds slowly getting used to the minimal heat levels you’ve introduced? Then step by step, increase the heat a little further. Try some mild to medium hot sauces or use peppers (without the seeds) with your meals. Start with milder varieties like Poblanos before moving on to Jalapeños and Serranos. So build up slowly, but it’s good to have some occasional outliers. Sometimes you have to experience that burning sensation to really be able to take some steps forward. No pain, no gain!

4. Have some ‘coolers’ on hand

If you’ve gone a little too far with the hot sauce or peppers, you’ll want to have something on hand to tame the burn. Cold milk works best for us, but these are some of them the best coolants if your mouth is on fire. Coolants and spicy food can also be combined. Consider, for example, the spicy Thai cuisine where a lot of coconut milk is used. Or Mexican cuisine with lots of coriander and lime. This way you learn to deal with the heat better.

5. Know your limit

Genes ultimately play an important role in your heat tolerance, so know your own limits. It doesn’t all have to be extremely spicy. Plus, if spicy food always gives you a stomach ache and very uncomfortable visits to the toilet the next day, you can conclude that your stomach is not made for it. Then it is wiser to accept that the spicy life is not for you.

On your journey to increase your heat tolerance, you will also discover that hot sauce can sometimes give you a runny nose. How is that possible? We explain this in detail here.

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