Penn State University has released a study specifying that spices and herbs which are rich in antioxidants, improve triglyceride concentrations and other blood lipids. The antioxidant level rises by approximately 30% when consuming a meal containing spices. The spices tested include garlic powder, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, paprika, turmeric, ginger and black pepper.
The study consisted of a review of research papers that focused on the effects that spices and herbs have on cardiovascular risks and analyzed three categories of studies differentiated by spice blends, cinnamon and garlic.
“The metabolic effects of spices and herbs and their efficacy and safety relative to traditional drug therapy represent an exciting area for future research given the public health significance of cardiovascular disease,” said Sheila G. West, professor of biobehavioral health and nutritional sciences.
“We live in a world where people consume too many calories every day,” said West. “Adding high-antioxidant spices might be a way to reduce calories without sacrificing taste.”
The results of the analysis revealed the following:
Cinnamon was shown to help diabetics by significantly reducing cholesterol and other blood lipids in the study participants.
To further test the review analysis the researchers prepared meals for six overweight men between the ages of 30-65. Two tablespoons of a high antioxidant culinary spice blend was added to the test meal. The participants were followed for three hours after each meal, drawing blood every 30 minutes. Antioxidant activity in the blood increased by 13 percent after the men ate the test meal when compared to the control meal, which may help prevent cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.