How To Neutralize Spicy Food In Stomach In 14 Ways

Are you ordering food from outside but worried about the extra spicy hot sauce? I guess you’ve experienced an upset stomach recently. I’m sure, even now your eyes get stuck in the spicy dishes in the restaurant’s menu book, your legs stretch you to the pepper fire hot chicken’s tray. You’ll break your fast today or tomorrow, so it’ll be better if you learn how to neutralize spicy food in stomach.

I get to meet with people coming with stomach aches, discomfort, burning sensations more frequently who claim they’re having stomach burning after eating spicy food.

Does spicy food alone cause such trouble in the stomach? Or, is there any other culprit behind the scene? Let’s see here in detail.

man worried about how to neutralize spicy food in stomach

Why Are You Are Getting An Upset Stomach After Taking Spicy Foods?

The medical term of an upset stomach is Dyspepsia that is concerned with indigestion and irritation in the stomach lining. It’s a condition when you feel bloating, pain, burning sensation, or discomfort in the stomach region. Very spicy, fatty, or greasy foods can be one of the main triggers of an upset stomach when you’re eating too much or too fast.

But, the reaction of spicy foods is not the same for all. Your best friend sitting beside you at the buffet restaurant might be gobbling up the extreme pepper fire hot chicken and approaching the ghost pepper wings tray with no reaction at all on his face. While you might be putting your bowl aside after a few spoons of inferno soup.

Here, one thing I should make you clear that spicy foods don’t voluntarily cause an upset stomach or digestive issues, they just aggravate the existing problems.

You may be experiencing problems after eating spicy food only because you’ve acid reflux diseases (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or inflammatory bowel disease(IBD). Eating spicy, fatty, or greasy foods just triggers the symptoms of these diseases. Before the details about how to neutralize spicy food in stomach, let’s see the impact of spices inside the abdomen.

What Happens In The Stomach After Eating Spicy Foods?

Capsaicin is a chemical compound that provides hot chili, cayenne pepper, and paprika that burning heat. Piperine is another bioactive alkaloid like capsaicin that we get from black pepper.

The capsaicin, present in most spicy foods, bonds with the pain receptors inside of the mouth and send signals to the brain. This signal translates as the ‘hot’ burning feeling in your mouth.

Just like your lips, tongue, and mouth, capsaicin binds with the pain receptors throughout your gastrointestinal tract that results in a scorching sensation in the stomach which you experience after a spicy and greasy meal.

How To Neutralize Spicy Food In Stomach?

After eating spicy foods the burning sensation in your mouth usually lasts for several minutes to an hour or so. Still, if it does not cool down and you end with an upset stomach, it’s time to think about neutralizing spicy food in stomach. Try the following foods to cool down the burn.

Milk or other dairies

Your eyebrows may be raised higher seeing this. But, like pouring water on the fire, a glass of whole milk, or another dairy or fat-based food will tame down the burning if you take it just after the spicy meal. This is a popular home remedy for upset stomach from spicy food.

Capsaicin is soluble in milk, thus it neutralizes the spice just like a soap removes oil and grease. However, if you don’t like milk or have lactose intolerance, take one tablespoon yogurt, light cottage cheese, or even ice cream.

milk is a good way of how to neutralize spicy food in stomach
Image by Couleur from Pixabay

Milk has a non-polar casein protein that binds with non-polar capsaicin and provides relief in your stomach. Beneficial bacterias and yeasts in yogurt reduce inflammation in the stomach and make the digestion process faster.

Starch

Go for plain boiled rice, plain potatoes, bread, toast, etc. These starchy foods do not dissolve capsaicin like dairy or fats, but they will absorb the molecules and reduce the scorching feeling in your stomach.

Besides, starch will coat your stomach to make you feel better without putting extra strain on your stomach. So, you will be able to stop thinking about how to neutralize spicy food in stomach.

Acidic fruit

After swallowing a lot of spicy foods, eat citrus fruit to neutralize its effect on your stomach. Just like the dairy, a slice of citrus fruit will neutralize the capsaicin molecules by binding with them.

You may be wondering as citrus fruits are known to be highly acidic. How will they neutralize the acidic effect of spices in the stomach? Well, citrus fruits also produce alkaline byproducts once they are metabolized.

Apple cider vinegar

Among the home remedies, apple cider vinegar comes as a life-saver for an upset stomach. It contains beneficial bacteria and therefore destroys E. coli bacteria responsible for food poisoning.

Diluted apple cider vinegar aids in the digestion system and absorption of starch, making the stomach feeling good.

Raw honey

Raw honey contains a handful of enzymes including some digestive enzymes like-diastases, invertases, proteases which help to break down starches, sugars, and proteins.

honey will lead you on how to neutralize spicy food in stomach
Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay

So, if you have devoured a good amount of spicy carbs and proteins and made your stomach upset, swallow a spoonful of honey to drive the digestion process. It also neutralizes capsaicin in stomach. The sugar in honey will absorb the spicy oil stopping the burning sensation in your stomach.

Fat

Try peanut butter, olive oil, or pass a few pieces of milk chocolates in your mouth. All of them have fat and oil that will help to soothe the effect of Capsaicin on the stomach.

Keep this mind that extra fat can stop you from thinking about how to neutralize spicy food in stomach, but too much of it can cause other health issues.

Ginger

Ginger is a popular remedy for nausea, gas, and vomiting for ages. For its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural remedy to ease your upset stomach. You can take it as ginger ale, ginger tea, or chewable tablets.

Activated charcoal

As I’ve said, toast is good and tolerant food for your sick stomach. But do you know, charred toast works even better to relieve an upset stomach? The charcoal in the burnt toast will search out and absorbs the toxins in your stomach.

Activated charcoal binds to the acids that are responsible for acid reflux, indigestion, bloating and relieves the stomach. If you are pregnant or face an upset stomach now and then, activated charcoal is not the right remedy for you.

Bananas and avocados

Pick the nutritious creamy fruits like bananas, avocados from your dining table when your stomach is still angry with the spicy, greasy foods that you’ve devoured yesterday night. The silky texture of these fruits can do some help in binding the capsaicin from the pain receptors.

Herbal tea

Mint and Peppermint tea is a common remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, gas, gastrointestinal cramps, and upset stomach. But, some studies have found that taking peppermint supplements can also lead to reduced symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn, vomiting, stomach pain, etc.

Therefore, in normal conditions, if you’ve ever got these symptoms from peppermint intake, I would rather discourage you to try this. Chamomile, fennel, ginger, green tea are some other herbal teas that can relieve you from an upset stomach. I am sure now you won’t get stressed about how to neutralize spicy food in stomach at least in the condiment aisle.

Applesauce

Applesauce is an easy food digest and gives your sickened stomach some rest to recover. But make sure you do not add sugars and extra ingredients otherwise that will put a strain on your already upset stomach.

Fennel seeds and caraway seeds

Fennel seeds contain trans-Anethole that has anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, these seeds will soothe swelling, burning sensation in your stomach, and digestion. They also work to relax the muscles in the stomach and intestines.

Caraway seeds, also known as meridian fennel, are a great remedy for digestive problems like gas, bloating, heartburn, and mild spasms of the stomach and intestines.

Papaya

Though papaya has not much to do with spicy foods, it contains two enzymes named papain and chymopapain, which work like the digestive enzymes to break down proteins. Eat fresh papaya or take papaya enzymes capsules to neutralize the effect of spicy protein intake in your stomach. I am sure it will stop you from thinking about how to neutralize spicy food in stomach.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another natural way to get rid of digestive problems and gastrointestinal discomfort.  It aids to reduce stomach acid and therefore can be taken to neutralize the effects of spicy foods in an upset stomach.

Try for over the counter medicines

However, sometimes these natural remedies cannot neutralize the aftereffect of spicy foods in the stomach. Fortunately, you’ll get plenty of over-the-counter medications at your local pharmacy that’ll give you relief from an upset stomach. You will also found some medicine to take before eating spicy food.

If you’re having an upset stomach now and then, you must get checked by a doctor. Because an upset stomach is not only the result of unusual food habits, it can be the symptom of more serious diseases like GERD, stomach ulcer, Irritable bowel syndrome, and a lot more.

Is It Spiciness That Causes Problems In The Stomach?

Is only the spiciness of food responsible for causing problems in the stomach? Or, there are some other culprits? Well, spices are used in foods for their beneficial properties. If spicy food doesn’t bother your stomach, there is no reason to avoid them.

Spicy foods aren’t necessarily unhygienic foods. But the problem occurs when food is loaded with a lot of chilies, a generous amount of red chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, oil, fats, garlic, onions, and a lot more and you are eating all these at the same time, and that too, a generous amount.

Photo by emy on Unsplash

Your stomach cannot take the load as you can! And the result is stomach ache, cramping, burning feelings, and a lot more that eventually make you searching for how to neutralize spicy food in stomach.

Again, when you are eating Nashville hot chicken, it may not be the spice that is troubling your stomach. Rather the fusion of butter, lard, and oil may be the cause of discomfort in your stomach.

FAQ

What helps settle your stomach after eating spicy food?

There are numerous food items that can settle your stomach after eating spicy foods. They are

  • Milk
  • Acidic Fruits
  • Honey
  • Starchy Food
  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • Herbal Tree
  • Papaya
  • Applesauce
  • Ginger
  • Fennel Seed
  • Cinnamon
  • Apple Cidar Vinegar
  • Fat

Does water neutralize the spicy foods in the stomach?

Being an oil-like compound, Capsaicin is not soluble in water. So, drinking water will not soothe the burning sensation caused by chillis. When you drink water after biting down on a chili pepper, it will spread the capsaicin around your inner mouth. Now the problem will be compounded and will make you think about how to neutralize spicy food in mouth.

As a result, it will reach more pain receptors and excite the burning sensation. Besides, drinking water may hinder your digestion process.

Do spicy foods cause ulcers?

There is no evidence that spicy foods cause ulcers. But you should use fewer spices if you have dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), GERD, etc. The fact is-if spicy foods cause stomach pain, avoid it. And if you are worried about how to stop burning poop after eating spicy food, that will be another issue to discuss separately sometimes.

Can spicy foods be healthy?

Spicy foods can be healthy and nutritious. Spices are used in foods for their beneficial properties. Chili pepper is a good source of vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, fiber, and iron. Capsaicin is known to reduce inflammation and pain, aid to control blood pressure, and lower bad cholesterol.

Along with chili, the other common spices like turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper have anti-inflammatory properties.

Conclusion

Though there are plenty of foods, herbs, and medications to get rid of the effect of spicy foods in the stomach, it’s always a worse nightmare for the people who have experienced it. Though you’ve now known how to neutralize spicy food in stomach, you’ll never want to have that burning feeling in your stomach again.

So, what is better is to stick to a healthy and moderately spiced diet. Don’t go for those exciting spicy food challenges ever. Because life is better even without those ups and downs!

Dr. SM Kamal Hasan, MBBS(Medicine), Rangpur Medical College and Hospital Rangpur- Dinajpur Highway, Cantt, Near Central Jail, Rangpur 5400, Bangladesh

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