If you’ve ever watched one of my cooking videos, you already know I’m a big believer in seasoning your food with various herbs and spices.
For one, they add a ton of flavor. But more importantly, they contain many healthy constituents, like polyphenols.
In fact, research shows you could even lower your blood pressure after just four weeks of generously seasoning your homecooked meals.
A delicious way to support your heart
Researchers from Penn State and Texas Tech University found that seasoning foods with 6.5 grams, or about 1.5 teaspoons, of herbs and spices could lower blood pressure.
They recruited 71 people with risk factors for heart disease. Then, each participant consumed a diet that was based around the Standard American Diet (a mistake right there), that contained varying amounts of herbs and spices:
- “High” consumption = 6.5 grams per day
- “Medium” consumption = 3.2 grams per day
- “Low” consumption = 0.5 grams per day
Participants followed each diet, in a random order, for four weeks. There was a two-week break between each diet period. Researchers collected blood samples before each dieting period and during the two-week break.
Ultimately, they discovered that a “medium” dose of herbs and spices lowered systolic (top number) blood pressure. But a “high” dose lowered diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure, to boot.
And considering participants weren’t following a heart-healthy diet, I’d say these findings are quite remarkable. (Imagine how effective this study would have been if participants were coached to eat healthier foods. But I digress.)
Experiment with different flavor combinations
Of course, a goal of the study was to find a healthy alternative to sodium (salt). But you already know how I feel about that…
The majority of our sodium intake is from processed foods. But if you’re already avoiding these foods, you need to add salt to the food you’re cooking.
In other words, for most people following a healthy diet—except for a small segment of the population whose high blood pressure goes together with sodium intake—there’s no reason to dispose of your saltshaker.
Instead, simply add herbs and spices to the mix as well. Because let’s face it: There really isn’t simpler protection from cardio-metabolic disease (like heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes).
For this study, the doses included a blend of 24 different herbs and spices, ranging from basil and thyme to cinnamon and turmeric. That alone gives you an idea for how many flavor varieties you can encounter in your cooking.
Just remember, many of those spice blends contain added sugar. So, buy the individual herbs and spices. Then, experiment with different flavor combinations. You may not get it right the first time, but I bet your food will be delicious no matter what.
To see how I take advantage of herbs and spices in my very own kitchen, check out my Cooking with Dr. Fred show on YouTube and Instagram. And for additional ways to help naturally lower your blood pressure, check out my Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol.
“Spice it up! Adding an extra teaspoon of herbs and spices to your food lowers blood pressure.” Study Finds, 11/09/2021. (studyfinds.org/adding-herbs-spices-blood-pressure/)