Even when our food choices aren’t the best, herbs and spices do more than just improve taste. They give any meal a nutrition boost. And according to a new study they may even reverse the damage from an unhealthy meal.
Researchers from Penn State University cooked up coconut chicken, cheese bread and a dessert biscuit for six men. The subjects were aged 30 to 65 and overweight but otherwise healthy. On one day the meal was served plain. On another day researchers added two tablespoons of a blend of nine herbs and spices to the meal.
After each meal the researchers drew blood from the subjects every 30 minutes for four hours. They found that antioxidant activity in the blood increased 13% after the spicy meal compared to the plain meal.
The spices and herbs also decreased post-meal insulin levels by 21% and triglyceride levels in the blood by as much as 31%. That in turn could reduce heart disease risk.