The best herbs and spices to extend human lifespan
Herbs and spices can provide numerous protective qualities that can help you live longer, as well as adding flavor to your food.
This is a much better alternative to processed condiments loaded with sugar, salt and preservatives that can cause health problems.
"Spices are concentrated sources of antioxidants," said Diane Vizthum, a research nutritionist for the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
"Studies indicate it can lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes," explained Vizthum.
Studies show that cinnamon, a widely used spice, can reduce the blood’s sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
This is especially helpful for people who would like to reduce their risk of heart disease - the world's biggest killer.
Another healthy spice is turmeric - ideal for curry dishes, tacos and on roasted vegetables and meats.
Hailed a super spice for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric has been linked to a reduction in brain disease.
A recent study found that participants who consumed curcumin - a component of turmeric – reported improvement in memory test scores.
"Scans of their brain indicated significantly fewer markers associated with cognitive decline," Vizthum noted. She advises people to simmer or stew foods with spices to "heighten the antioxidant levels", instead of frying or grilling.
"Herbs and spices fight inflammation and reduce damage to your body’s cells,” said Monica Auslander Moreno, a dietician based in Miami Florida. "That’s because each one is rich in phytochemicals, which are healthful plant chemicals."Moreno recommends adding chilli peppers to your food, as they can "help keep blood vessels healthy".
One herb Moreno recommends is cumin – another great addition to curries – as it can promote weight loss. One study involving 88 overweight women who ate less than a teaspoon of cumin daily lost more body fat and weight than those who didn't; both groups were put on the same low-calorie diet.
Rosemary is another herb recommended by Moreno, as it's rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage.
To summarise, cinnamon, turmeric, chilli peppers, cumin and rosemary are the herbs and spices you need in your home.