Adding a pinch of oregano to a hearty tomato sauce or sprinkling ground cinnamon over baked apples really elevates ordinary dishes into flavor-packed ones. Your spice cabinet is a treasure trove for adding as much of these seasonings as your tastebuds can desire. And new research highlights the benefits of cooking with high amounts of spices and herbs for reducing high blood pressure!
A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition wanted to see the link between consuming herbs and spices daily and heart health. Participants included adults (ages 30 and 75) who were considered at-risk for heart disease and diabetes. Researchers focused on common household seasonings including cinnamon, oregano, dill, and turmeric. They asked participants to intake either a low (0.5 grams), moderate (3.3 grams), or high amount (6.6 grams) of these seasonings every day for four weeks.
By the end of the study, researchers found participants who consumed the highest amount of spices daily experienced the greatest reduction in their blood pressure levels. The study authors credited this to the seasonings’ ability to lower lipid absorption, which causes there to be less “bad” cholesterol in the body. As a result, your blood pressure is able to stay at healthy levels. This is key for avoiding heart-related diseases because it ensures that there’s a steady blood flow moving from your heart to your blood vessels and the rest of your body. Otherwise, a high force of blood flow could damage blood vessels and lead to heart failure and stroke.
Herbs and spices are pantry staples so this should be all the more reason to add more of them to your dishes. Whether they’re fresh or dried, the health benefits and flavor boost they add to a variety of recipes is hard to pass up. Try using turmeric to give eggs, homemade lattes, or even a glass of water an earthy and peppery taste. A mildly spicy season like chili powder works perfectly in a sautéed fajita beef skillet dish and stuffed potatoes. Plus, recipes such as chimichurri chicken and pork chops with tomato salsa get a fresh twist thanks to cilantro.
As you can see, the options for incorporating more spices into your cooking are endless!