A study recently published online in the Journal of Nutrition concludes that spices with high antioxidant levels may help may help normalize postprandial insulin and TG and enhance antioxidant defenses. A group of six overweight but otherwise healthy men ages 30 to 65 were served prepared meals on two separate days.
Researchers looked at various metabolic measures in blood drawn from the participants every 30 minutes over three hours. A study of this type with multiple blood measures and very specific meals typically has a small number of subjects because of the very tight controls required.
The men were given high-fat meals either with or without spices. After consuming meals with spices the men's triglyceride response and insulin response was about 30% and 21% lower, respectively, compared to when the men were fed a similar meal with no spices added.
The spice and herb blend in the study was comprised of rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika, all chosen because of high in antioxicant activity. And these are all spices or herbs typically found in the kitchen cupboard. Go ahead, spice it up!
The study was funded by both the National Institutes of Health and the McCormick Spice Institute. The McCormick Spice Institute website is a wonderful resource if you are interested in learning more about herbs, spices and health.
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