Cutting Salt, Adding Spice
Adding spices to your food may help cut salt cravings and lower blood pressure, new study finds.
Kicking unhealthy salt cravings may be as simple as getting a little spicy, according to a new study.
Researchers in China recruited 606 adults and determined their preferences for salty and spicy flavors. Then they tracked their blood pressure and gave them brain scans.
Men and women who enjoyed spicy foods the most had lower blood pressure than participants who enjoyed them the least. Both their systolic and diastolic numbers were lower. They also ate less salt.
The brain scans zeroed in on two regions known to be involved in salty taste. The researchers found that the areas stimulated by salt and spice overlapped….and that when spice further ramps up brain activity in the salt areas, people can be satisfied with less of it.
The senior author says these findings show, “even a small, gradual increase in spices in your food may have a health benefit.”
The study concludes more research is needed to determine whether these findings can be generalized to other countries.