By regulating salt and sugar consumption, spicy foods help lower blood pressure
Not only would it taste good but adding spices to your food can benefit your body, or in general, eating spicy foods help lower blood pressure. Researchers say that this can improve overall health and at least temporarily lower blood pressure.
For decades, researchers have looked into the significance of nutrition in the management of heart disease, particularly blood pressure. These studies focus on people’s eating habits, and one recent study done by Penn State Clinical Research Center focused on how seasoned food affects blood pressure.
Published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, they reported that by consuming herbs and spices, it can lower blood pressure temporarily. Rather than taking a single reading at the doctor’s office, the researchers conducted 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Every 20 to 30 minutes, participants wore a cuff that took readings. Then, averages of a full 24-hour day period were used.
To figure out how spicy foods help out in this situation, each of the 63 participants in the study were divided into three groups with a different level of spice. All participants had at least one heart disease risk factor. The level of spices consumed within each group would vary from 0.5 grams a day, 3.3 grams a day, and 6.6 grams a day.
After following their diets for 4 weeks, the researchers reported that the diet group that consumed 6.6 grams of spicy food a day had improved blood pressure within those 24-hour readings in comparison to those who ate 0.5 and 3.3 grams of spicy food a day. Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RDN, a nutritionist from Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, was not surprised. “Herbs and spices are high nutrient-dense plants with compounds that have been found in previous studies to improve health. Additionally, utilizing herbs and spices in place of salt can help with blood pressure as well.”
According to Kanchan Koya, PhD, a nutritionist trained at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City, she recommends that the following spices and spicy foods help out with lowering blood pressure. Aside from that, it is very important to lower the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, so make sure to cut out the sweets!