The Facts

Did you know...... Spices do more than flavor your food

Past research suggests that a shake of this and a pinch of that could also boost the health of diabetics.

Researchers tested 24 herbs and spices.  They found that many appear to have the power to inhibit tissue damage and inflammation brought on by high blood-sugar levels in the body.

Although the tests didn't show how much spice you would need for a particular level of effect it is clear that spices are rich in antioxidants, which are thought to protect cells from damage. The good thing is for everyone, adding some spice to your food can add a lot of antioxidant power without adding lots of extra calories.  It is also a lot cheaper than other food products and supplements.

Lona Sandon, national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, has said that while research does suggest that spices are high in antioxidants and may reduce blood-sugar levels, it’s difficult to make recommendations about how much to use.   Even so, she adds “I say add as much herbs and spices as your taste buds and tummy can take,” she said. “They add flavor and fun to foods without adding calories or fat. Their potential for promoting health outweighs any risks, unless, of course, you have an allergy to a particular spice.”

Sources: James Hargrove, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, The University of Georgia, Athens; Lona Sandon, ME.d., R.D., assistant professor, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, and national spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association, Dallas; June 2008, Journal of Medicinal Food FRIDAY, Oct. 17 2008 (HealthDay News)