Washington: Spices and herbs not only offer a zingy flavour to your food, they can also improve your health by helping to reduce sodium, calorie and fat intake, finds research.
While red pepper may assist individuals who are trying to manage their weight, cinnamon may help improve blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity, showed the findings of separate studies.
"We now understand that spices and herbs have a meaningful role to play in bringing flavour to the forefront of today's health and wellness conversations," said Johanna Dwyer from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.
"It will take all of us working together - from scientists to chefs and product developers to policy makers - before we can really begin to improve public health through flavourful eating," Dwyer noted.
The researchers found that spices make healthy foods more acceptable.
Adding spices and herbs to reduced-fat meals (lean meats, vegetables and pasta) helped make them more appealing, showed data presented by James Hill from University of Colorado.
A spice blend added to a high-fat meal decreased post-meal insulin and triglyceride levels compared to the same meal without added spices, said Sheila West from The Pennsylvania State University.
The findings were summarised in the journal Nutrition Today.