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Chili Grower Defends Carolina Reaper After World's Hottest Pepper Hospitalizes Man

A chili grower defended the Carolina Reaper, after the world's hottest chili pepper reportedly sent a man to the hospital. He said that there is a proper way to prepare the Carolina Reaper, to avoid any health issues.  ( Gaizka Iroz | AFP | Getty Images )

A chili grower defended the Carolina Reaper, after it was recently reported that a man was hospitalized due to eating the world's hottest pepper during a competition.

This is not the first time that pepper has resulted in a medical emergency. Back in October 2016, a ghost pepper puree tore a hole through a man's esophagus. However, it should be noted that there is a correct way of eating these potentially dangerous ingredients.

Carolina Reaper Triggers Thunderclap Headache

According to recent reports, a 34-year-old man was hospitalized in 2016 after eating a Carolina Reaper. He complained of a thunderclap headache, which is characterized by bleeding in areas surrounding the victim's brain.

The incident was the first case of a thunderclap headache linked to eating chili peppers. The man said that the symptoms emerged after he ate one Carolina Reaper piece during a hot pepper eating contest. He experienced dry heaves, with intense neck and occipital head pain, and doctors discovered that the temporary constrictions on his brain's arteries resulted the thunderclap headaches.

One of the doctors who attended to the man warned people to be cautious about the consequences of eating hot peppers.

Chili Grower Defends Carolina Reaper

Salvatore Genovese, a chili grower who grows and sells the Carolina Reaper out of his 7-acre farm in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, aptly named Love My Chillies, defended the world's hottest pepper.

"We have sold, in the past couple of years or so, over half a million Carolina reapers and I have never had any knowledge or any complaint of anyone having to be hospitalized," Genovese said in an interview with Sky News.

According to Genovese, there is a proper way to cook and eat the Carolina Reaper. The chili grower said that he would not recommend simply consuming the pepper as it is, to avoid any health issues.

"Just cook with it, make a curry, infuse it slowly take it out if you want to afterwards, and get the rich flavors from that super-hot chili," Genovese said, adding that the pepper should be treated like salt and used in small amounts.

Benefits Of Eating Spicy Food

The Carolina Reaper, if prepared properly, will provide several benefits for people who love spicy food. The findings of a study from January 2017 claim that eating chili peppers may be linked to reduced mortality rates, primarily from deaths caused by stroke and heart disease.

An older study from December 2015, meanwhile, claimed that spicy food may also boost brain power, as flavonoids found in red pepper named apigenin improves nerve formation and connections between brain cells.

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