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What are the health benefits of using spices?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Many spices can zap the effects of dangerous fats. Adding 2 tablespoons of zesty seasonings like rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika to a high-fat meal cuts its risky triglycerides -- bad fats that linger in fat cells -- by 30%. High triglyceride levels (100 mg/dL or more) inflate your risk for heart disease.

That's not all. These same spices also help keep your blood sugar steady. And they increase cell-protecting activities in your blood, which defend you against many diseases, from arthritis to cancer. They also make sex better by increasing artery function.

Yellow mustards (not Dijon) are rich in turmeric, the source of cancer-, arthritis- and Alzheimer's-fighting curcumin.

Sprinkle these seasonings on almost anything. Add combos to chicken and fish; stir them into marinades; toss them into soups and sauces; use them to give some zing to omelets, veggies, salads, and sandwiches.
Nita M. Desai, MD
Family Medicine
In Auyurveda, spices are a great way to use alchemy to make certain foods more digestible; they also add lots of different complex tastes to a meal. Watch as integrative medicine specialist Nita Desai, MD, discusses the benefits of using spices.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.