A tea of researchers found that herbs and spices not only give flavor to food but interestingly, they could also lower blood pressure and reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases. The team said that their findings give people a simple way to improve their heart health.
Herbs and Spices Improve Heart Health Without Changing Diet
Study author Professor Kris-Etherton said that adding herbs and spices to the food is a great way to give flavor without the extra sodium, sugar, or saturated fat. But adding it also to foods that are beneficial to the body can give more health benefits.
An article in Earth.com shared that in the study, researchers asked 71 people at risk for heart disease to add a mixture of herbs and spices to their daily meals that are divided into three levels: low-spice diet (0.5/day), medium-spice diet (3.2g/day), and high-spice diet (6.5g/day). This mixture is composed of 24 different herbs, such as basil, rosemary, cinnamon, and turmeric.
Their blood pressure was measured every four weeks after each trial that is separated by a two-week break. They found that participants had lower systolic blood pressure after consuming a high-spice diet than a medium-spice and low-spice diet. This shows that herbs and spices can improve heart health without changing much of a person’s diet.
No Need to Give Up Salt
Studyfinds.org reported that researchers tried to simulate how people would typically add herbs and spices while cooking and also added them to foods of a typical American diet without taking away salt.
After testing their blood samples, they found that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure dropped after eating the medium-spice and high-spice diets respectively. The team noted that showing that participants still eat an average American diet throughout the study while adding herbs and spices to their food suggests that people do not have to give up salt.