Want to spice up your life, and reduce your pain? Think peppers, and the hotter the better. Fiery peppers contain more of an active ingredient called capsaicin than mild peppers do. “Capsaicin can stimulate the production of endorphins, the body’s natural opiates, which can help to reduce pain and anxiety,” says Muraleedharan Nair, Ph.D., professor of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University. “When you chew or eat a hot pepper you may sweat a little but at the same time you get this feeling of a high. That is the endorphin rush.” Capsaicin can also block the transmission of pain signals in the body, and inhibit an enzyme that causes the release of prostaglandins and other substances that increase pain.