Stress less by spicing up

spices mopping up stressSpicing up your food, does more than just add flavour.

Eating is pretty stressful

Everytime you shove something in your mouth – it creates a little stress, how much, depends on exactly what you’re eating.

As a rule, high carbohydrate meals are particularly stressful, since they create a temporary spike in sugar. The liver, with the help of the pancreas works hard to keep this spike in check, by pumping out mass quantities of insulin.

Mass quantities of insulin do the trick – they rapidly mop up the excess sugar, but at a price. The price is hyperinsulinemia. High insulin levels are problematic, because they upset the balance of other hormones, ultimately leading to the condition known as metabolic syndrome.

Reining in insulin is always a good health move.

One way to do this, is to simply cut down on those carbs, a move that for some people feels really difficult.

Spice it up

Another way to rein in insulin, is to spice things up.

Researchers from Penn State University have demonstrated adding a little spice to a meal, can mitigate the stress the digestive system is under, every time you feed.

Just add spice

The researchers invited six overweight, but healthy, men between the ages of 30 and 65 to dinner on two different occasions. Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch, so the dinner deal included blood letting after the meal. Blood samples were taken every 30 minutes, for 3 hours.

On the first occasion they were served a chicken dish, bread and a biscuit. The first meal omitted the spices – yuck !

The second occasion saw the same primary ingredients used, but this time the flavour was enhanced with liberal use of culinary spices. The chicken dish morphed to chicken curry, the bread transformed to Italian bread and the ordinary biscuit, became a cinnamon biscuit. The spices added included rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and paprika.

Spices suppressed the insulin response

I am sure, spicing up the meal improved the taste, but this was not what the scientists were interested in. They analyzed the blood samples to see what happened to the insulin response.

The spices decreased the insulin spike by around 20 %.

The liberal sprinkling of spices did not cause any tummy upsets in the participants, no mention is made of burning mouths.

Bring on the spice

Oxidative stress is implicated in most of the dreaded diseases of aging – diabetes, heart disease, arthritis etc.

Spicing up your dinner is a rather pleasant way to relieve a little of this oxidative stress, so don’t be afraid to spice it up. And if things get too hot to handle, wash it down with a glass or two of water.

A High Antioxidant Spice Blend Attenuates Postprandial Insulin and Triglyceride Responses and Increases Some Plasma Measures of Antioxidant Activity in Healthy, Overweight Men. Journal of Nutrition, 2011; 141 (8): 1451 A. C. Skulas-Ray, P. M. Kris-Etherton, D. L. Teeter, C.-Y. O. Chen, J. P. Vanden Heuvel, S. G. West.
 

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Further reading

herbal tea with an extra ingredient old dog doing a bicycle trick pepper burning fat
Your herbal tea could include a weed or two Old dogs can learn new tricks when oxidative stress is less A pinch of pepper produces a pyrogenic sting which melts fat

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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