Let me tell you my story with strong flavors.
I went to 7-Eleven to buy matches for my job (it involved scented candles), and while I was there, I picked up Paqui (makers of the infamous carolina reaper chip that sparked the one chip challenge) Ghost Pepper chips. While they were not as spicy as the hottest pepper in the world chip, the carolina reaper, they were still pretty spicy—given that ghost peppers are the third hottest peppers in the world. I ate half the bag and I was okay…the rest of my coworkers were freaking out after eating only a portion of one chip.
Maybe I have an iron stomach. I always drink my coffee black (even with espresso in it, doesn’t matter how iced or how hot). I like dark chocolate more than milk and white chocolate, to the point that I eat it for breakfast every morning.
Maybe I don’t. I don’t know. I’m not a purist or anything. What I do know is that I like—no, I love—eating food this way, even if it seems weird to others.
And that’s okay.
In fact, it’s actually healthy to eat such bold and strong flavors.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, dark chocolate is rich in Iron, Zinc, Copper, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Flavanols, a plant chemical that may help to protect the heart, mainly by reducing blood pressure. If eating 100% cacao, which I do, makes you uncomfortable, then reach for dark chocolate that is above 70% cacao. Or, sweeten up the cacao with fresh or dried fruit, such as strawberries, oranges—or my personal favorite, dates.
Continuing with the bitter food category, according to the American Council on Science and Health, drinking three cups of coffee per day can reduce one’s health risk.
These include cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, as well as certain cancers—from prostate, endometrial, melanoma, oral, leukemia, to non-melanoma skin and liver cancers. Yes, three cups a day is a lot, but it doesn’t always have to be caffeinated…all that matters it that you’re drinking it black (no milk, no sweetener).
A little bit of spice for a healthy life!
According to St. Joseph Health, eating spicy food can lower one’s risk for heart attack, stroke, and certain kinds of cancer. Spicy foods can also aid those with arthritis, muscle pain, shingles and headaches, as well as speeding up weight loss. You don’t have to burn your mouth off with various peppers and seasonings to reap these benefits…even mild ones such as red pepper flakes & ground black pepper will do the trick.
The best part about big flavors? They’re more satisfying.
They make food and beverages more enjoyable with every bite or sip. Food is all about flavor, so if you’re dulling it down with other additives, the flavor will be completely changed, and not in a positive way. Why make and eat food if you can’t enjoy it the way it was meant to be enjoyed?
Of course, you don’t have to go bold right away.
In fact, it’s better if you don’t…
Just like any other time when you start a new meal plan, you should start mild to let your body adjust, and then get bold. Eating such strongly flavored foods can cause some discomfort, especially if you are not used to eating these kinds of food all the time. However, once you get to a level that you are comfortable with. Personally, I just eat this way because I love bold flavors. But hey, I’ll take the added benefits. Hopefully, this has convinced you to just leave your food alone & enjoy it as is.