You could earn SmartPoints on this page!SmartPoint Coin

March 16, 2012 at 10:30 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Let food be thy medicine: Spicy meals cut heart disease risk!

By Laura Hogg More Blogs by This Author

Welcome back to FitChatter! This week in the news: new research shows that heavily spiced meals cut triglyceride levels in the blood – even if the meal is high in fat!

Spice aficionados, rejoice: it turns out that your favorite Indian curry is good for more than just your taste buds.

It’s well-known wisdom that adding spices can reduce the need for extra salt in your cooking, thereby lowering your sodium intake, but now new research shows that heavily spiced dishes can actually decrease your blood triglyceride levels by up to one third!

The Penn State study was divided into two groups: one who ate meals prepared with spices (turmeric, garlic, oregano, paprika, rosemary, and ginger) and one who ate those same meals without the spices. In the end, the spice group showed a dramatic decrease in triglycerides and a 20% drop in insulin levels – even when their meals were high fat and full of oily sauces. It’s important to keep both of those levels low to reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease.

Though researchers aren’t yet sure if these short-term benefits will lead to long-term results, even these preliminary conclusions are great news to those who seek natural ways to improve their health – those who follow Hippocrates, father of medicine: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

It’s not yet clear which of the spices used in the study were the most beneficial, so research on the subject will continue. In the meantime, cardiologist Ravi Dave, who reviewed the study, recommends using traditional Indian spices (turmeric, cumin, and coriander).

So why not do your heart a favor and try out some curried sweet potato fries:

Or black bean curry burgers:

Or a cinnamon-rich pumpkin breakfast smoothie:

Are you a spicy food fan? What’s your favorite spicy dish? Does this new research make you want to pile on the paprika?

For more good reasons to eat spicy, check out Sue Chef’s blog!


More from Laura Hogg Others Are Reading


  • I love cooking with cumin and coriander (aka cilantro), whether it be an Indian dish or a Tex-Mex/Mexi-Cali dish. Glad to know those spices are doing good things!

  • hey that cinnamon drink reminds me of a video I saw with people trying to eat a spoonful of pure cinnamon! No one can do it - they blow it out in a big puff or two of powder.

  • It's been done by a member of the military that was trained to hold his breath a long time. The trick is doing it while holding your breath so breathing doesn't make the cinnamon swirl around.

Comment on the Smart Living Network

Site Feedback