What foods can raise endorphin levels?

Frances Largeman-Roth, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Capsaicin is the chemical that makes hot peppers “hot.” When you eat hot peppers, your body responds to the burn of the heat by releasing endorphins. Getting an endorphin boost at night will help clear out end of day stress and keep you in a good mood before bed.
You needn’t reach for the hottest pepper, like Scotch bonnet or Thai bird’s eye, but it does need to have some heat (bell peppers don’t count). For mild heat, I like Anaheim or a small jalapeno to kick up a dish. It’s easy to add salsa to tacos, but you can also use hot peppers in casseroles, soups, stir-fries, or stuffed pepper dishes. Cooking doesn’t reduce the amount of capsaicin, but it will make eating hot peppers more approachable and achievable.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.