Spices in food reduce blood pressure

We regularly hear about how dangerous high blood pressure is, and we also regularly hear that in order to keep it from rising, you need to eat less salty, less fat, more vegetables, etc. Not everyone can follow these dietary recommendations. so we can only hope for antihypertensive drugs.

However, as they write in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition researchers from Pennsylvania State UniversityTo lower blood pressure, the diet does not have to be drastically changed, you just need to add more spices to the food. The experiment involved several dozen people who ate for several weeks as usual, that is, their food contained a lot of carbohydrates and fats, a lot of so-called processed and highly processed foods (like smoked sausages, canned food, etc.), few fish , vegetables and fruits. But at the same time, some participants in the experiment received every day with food 0.5 grams of a mixture of spices, others – 3.2 grams, and still others – 6.5 grams. There were twenty-four spices, from black pepper to cardamom, from ginger to paprika, from coriander and thyme to cumin and ginger. (Apparently, the spices were added according to culinary rules, that is, it is unlikely that chili and garlic were poured into the milkshake.)

Each person went through all three options. It looked like this: someone started with a diet with 0.5 g of spices, sat on it for a month, then ate for two weeks as usual, then another four weeks with 6.5 g of spices, then another break, then four weeks of the third diet option with 3.2 g of spices. Someone else started with 6.5 g, then moved on to 3.2 g, then to 0.5 g – in general, the sequences of the three diets were different, but, we repeat, all participants in the experiment went through all three. All of them were more or less predisposed to cardiovascular diseases, and it would not hurt them to lower their blood pressure.

It turned out that after the largest daily dose of spices, the pressure dropped noticeably. This was seen in the case when a person walked with a pressure sensor day and night; a single pressure measurement of the effect of the spices did not show. There was no perceptible difference between an average dose and a low dose of spices, and if they did reduce the pressure, it was very insignificant. The authors of the work emphasize that the pressure was reduced only because of the spices, because the amount of salt and the amount of vegetables and fruits in the diet of the participants in the experiment remained normal. True, not every person will agree to a large amount of spices – many do not like it when they eat a lot of onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, etc.

It is worth noting that the spices did not affect the level of “bad” cholesterol, that is, low-density lipoproteins, which increase the risk of atherosclerosis, and did not affect the level of glucose in the blood, which may indicate the danger of diabetes. That is, if we have in mind health in general, and not just a decrease in pressure, then spices alone cannot be dispensed with.

Source: Автономная некоммерческая организация "Редакция журнала «Наука и жизнь»" by www.nkj.ru.

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