In a new study from Texas Tech University, researchers found seasoning your food generously with herbs and spices isn’t just a great way to make your meals tastier, it may have benefits for your heart’s health, as well.
They found that seasoning foods with 6.5 grams, or about 1.3 teaspoons, of herbs and spices a day was linked with lower blood pressure after four weeks.
The findings offer people a simple way to help improve their heart health.
According to the researchers, cardiometabolic diseases like heart disease, strokes and type two diabetes continue to be one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
One of the ways health professionals aim to improve heart health is by monitoring and improving blood pressure.
One way people can improve their blood pressure is by limiting their sodium intake, usually by adding less salt to their meals.
In the study, the researchers recruited 71 people with risk factors for heart disease.
Every participant consumed every spice diet—one low, one moderate, and one high in herbs and spices—in a random order for four weeks each, with a two-week break between each diet period.
Blood samples were drawn from each participant at the beginning of the study as well as after each diet period.
The doses included a blend of 24 different herbs and spices, ranging from basil and thyme to cinnamon and turmeric, designed to simulate the way people use different herbs and spices throughout the day while cooking.
The researchers found that after consuming the diet including a high dose of herbs and spices, participants had lower systolic blood pressure than after the diet with the medium dose.
Participants also had lower diastolic blood pressure after the diet with a high dose of herbs and spices than after the diet with a low dose.
The team says the diets in the study were not designed to be specifically heart-healthy, and only differed from an average diet by the number of herbs and spices added.
Adding herbs and spices to your food is a great way to add flavor without adding extra sodium, sugar or saturated fat.
If you care about blood pressure health, please read studies about walking more steps daily may help lower blood pressure and findings of low fiber diet could cause high blood pressure.
For more information about high blood pressure, please see recent studies about this high blood pressure drug may cause more dangerous side effects and results showing that statin and blood pressure drug combos may help reduce dementia risk.
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. One author of the study is Penny Kris-Etherton.
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