Spice it up
A few years ago, a poll conducted by a hot sauce brand claimed to prove that people who like spicy food are spicier when it comes to romance. We're not sure that holds up, but we are sure that when it comes to enjoying spices -- and not just hot ones -- the more the merrier, and healthier.
Two studies on the effect of America's favorite spices on triglycerides and blood pressure have found that when folks who are overweight and have elevated cholesterol enjoy a daily dose of a mixture of dried basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, oregano, parsley, red pepper, rosemary, thyme and turmeric, they register lower blood pressure and healthier levels of lipids.
The first study in the journal Food and Function found that individually, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric were most effective in lowering triglycerides. When combined, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric delivered powerful results.
The second study, presented at NUTRITION 2021, found that eating about half a tablespoon of the dried spice mixture daily for four weeks lowers both systolic (top number) and diastolic (lower) blood pressure. Seems the spices relax your blood vessels. The systolic number went down 2.2 mmHg and the diastolic went down 1.6 mmHg. That's enough to help protect your blood vessels from damage and reduce the risk of stroke. (One study found lowering systolic blood pressure by 1 mmHg cuts the risk by 5%.) So spice up your food and you'll spice up your health -- and, who knows, maybe your love life too.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.