Health Tips: Spice It Up

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Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen

A few years ago, a survey conducted by a spicy sauce brand claimed to prove that when it comes to romance, people who like spicy food are spicier. We’re not sure that this will last, but we’re sure when it comes to enjoying spices – and not just hot ones – the more, the better and healthier.

Two studies on the effect of America’s most popular spices on triglycerides and blood pressure have found that people who are overweight and have high cholesterol enjoy a daily dose of a mixture of dried basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger , Oregano, parsley, red pepper, rosemary, thyme, and turmeric they all report lower blood pressure and healthier lipid levels.

The first study in the journal Food and Function found that cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric were individually most effective at lowering triglycerides. When combined, cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric gave powerful results.

The second study, presented at NUTRITION 2021, found that consuming about half a tablespoon of the dried spice mixture daily for four weeks lowered both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower) blood pressure. It appears that the spices relax your blood vessels. The systolic value decreased by 2.2 mmHg and the diastolic value by 1.6 mmHg. That’s enough to protect your blood vessels from damage and reduce the risk of stroke. (One study found that lowering your systolic blood pressure by 1 mmHg reduced your risk by 5%.) So when you spice up your food, you’ll spice up your health – and who knows, maybe your love life, too.

You still need a good daily dose of DHA omega-3s-3

In 1993 the Bee Gees sang in “Omega Man”: “I am the Omega Man / Stand upright and understand / Everyone needs a plan.” This could be the theme song for omega-3 fatty acids these days. When a study in cardiovascular pharmacotherapy came out that said high doses of fish oil were correlated with the occurrence of atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder that can lead to strokes), people began to neglect the amazing benefits of DHA omega-3 fatty acids . This is a mistake and we stand upright with a plan for how to take advantage of it.

First, let’s review what a copious intake of omega-3 DHA from the salmon, sardine, sea trout, herring, and anchovy diet can do for you. It is undisputed that it helps lower the risk of heart attack, coronary artery disease, and death from CHD and cardiovascular disease. It’s good for the brain too. It protects the brain from stroke and dementia, and can relieve symptoms of mild depression. A study in Translational Psychiatry even shows that adolescents with higher DHA levels by the age of 17 are 56% less likely to become psychotic by the age of 24.

As for taking omega-3 supplements, a new study shows that children born to mothers who took DHA-rich fish oil during pregnancy have faster processing speeds in solving complex problems and better scores on attention tests by the age of 10 . For mothers-to-be and for the rest of you – especially if you don’t eat fish – we recommend that you ask your doctor about taking low- or moderate-dose algae oil supplements. This is also the omega-3 source of fish.

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