A curry house is probably not the first place you would think about going on your first date.But research suggests that going out for a chicken peppersoup could actually boost your chances of love.Scientists found women fancy men more after eating spicy food – and were more likely to be interested in pursuing a relationship.
The St Cloud State University in Minnesota study showed women who had spicy food found men one fifth better-looking. However, the scientists found the opposite effect from sweet treats – because of an unconscious association in the brain. They said that because words to describe spicy food, such as hot, is a common term to describe someone being attractive.
This supposedly helps to solidify thoughts about affection, and potentially pursuing a romantic relationship, the team wrote.Jenni Miska, lead researcher, published the findings in Psi Chi and said “embodied cognition” – when sensations affect thoughts – was to blame.
The academics wrote said: “A spicy flavour was found to increase romantic interest as well as physical attractiveness ratings.“It supports the suggestion that sensory experiences, in this case taste, can influence cognitive perceptions regarding potential relationships.”
Researchers made the conclusion after assessing data from 87 women who were either given sweet, spicy or bland snacks, the Sun reports. The sweet group were given four Oreo cookies and the bland group had eight Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips.While those in the spicy condition were given Cheetos Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeño Cheese – because it wasn’t unbearably hot.
They were then asked to rate faces of random men, giving them a score between one and nine based on how attractive they were. An average score of 4.46 was recorded by the women in the spicy group – 21 per cent higher than those given the Oreo cookies.And they rated men 4.08 in terms of how romantically interested they were in them – 28 per cent more than those in the other groups.
Researchers wrote in the journal: “Spicy flavours elicited higher levels of physical attraction and romantic interest.” Meanwhile, eating spicy food may curb unhealthy cravings for salt, leading to lower blood pressure, suggested a Chinese study last October.Using data from 600 people, researchers found people who enjoyed that type of cuisine appeared to eat less salt because it ‘tricks’ their brains into wanting less.
As a result, they were found to have lower blood pressure, potentially reducing their risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. The findings were published in Hypertension.