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Why Chili Peppers and Spicy Foods Trigger Hiccups

why spicy food cause hiccups

Story at-a-glance -

  • There are specific health benefits to spicy foods that range from helping your body fight some cancers, to reducing mucus production in your lungs and helping to prevent emphysema
  • The chemical compound in spicy chili peppers may trigger hiccups by irritating the nerves that innervate your diaphragm or by being sprayed during chewing into your lungs and triggering a response from irritated lung tissue
  • Hiccups are annoying and uncomfortable, but often self-limited; several home remedies may help get rid of them, including sucking on a lemon, eating a spoonful of peanut butter or gargling with ice water

By Dr. Mercola

I love spicy foods and enjoy the benefits of the spicy chemical in peppers — capsaicin — that may improve health. Chili peppers, one of the main sources of capsaicin, are a staple in diets of Central America, Asia and India. Even in the U.S. there are many who believe "the spicier the better."


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