Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spice Up Your Life

With the Christmas season over, so goes the clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.  

But new research from Penn State might convince you to expand your spice cabinet arsenal. 

Heavily spiced meals (akin to Indian cuisine) that have been laced with turmeric (think curries) or seasonal desserts (cinnamon in apple pie, pumpkin pie, etc.) have been shown to benefit the heart.

Cinnamon has been studied because of its promising effects on blood glucose control in diabetics.  However, Penn State researcher, Sheila West, found that a spicy meal can decrease triglycerides by roughly one-third versus participants who consumed a similar meal sans spice.

Spices used in the study were: turmeric, garlic, oregano, paprika, rosemary, and ginger.  The next phase of the study will look at what amounts or concentrations of spices are most beneficial.

At this time there is no clear connection about the long-term effects of heavily spiced meals with prevention or reduction of heart disease or decreases of Ha1c in persons with diabetes.