Superfoods like turmeric and honey have long been known for their ability to promote health and wellbeing. New studies unveiled at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE take a closer look at the science behind the health benefits of superfoods. Here are four highlights:
Spicing up your diet can help lower blood pressure
A new study shows that adding herbs and spices to your diet can do more than just improve the taste. Researchers at Penn State University and Texas Tech University studied the cardiometabolic effects of including mixed herbs and spices in an average American diet in adults at higher risk for cardiometabolic disease. The study included 71 participants who ate diets of 6.6, 3.3, and 0.5 grams of herbs / spices per day for four weeks. The three study diets showed no differences in cholesterol or blood sugar levels. However, when the diet with the most herbs and spices – the equivalent of about 1.5 teaspoons – was eaten, the 24-hour blood pressure level was improved compared to the diet with the lowest amounts of herbs and spices.
Kristina Petersen will present this research in an on-demand session during NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE from Monday, June 7th, 12:00 p.m. to Friday, June 10th, 5:30 p.m. (excerpt; presentation details).
Nanoparticles contribute to honey’s anti-inflammatory properties
Although the medicinal properties of honey have been known since ancient times, scientists are still discovering the biochemistry responsible for the health benefits of this sweet substance. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have found that honey contains tiny nanoparticles with a membrane-enclosed structure that resembles exosomes in the body. Experiments with these exosome-like nanoparticles showed that they can reduce inflammation in mice with experimentally induced liver damage and possibly inhibit the activation of an important inflammatory enzyme complex.
Jiujiu Yu will present this research in an on-demand session during NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE from Monday, June 7th, 12:00 pm to Friday, June 10th, 5:30 pm (excerpt; presentation details).
Snacking on mangoes could help lower your risk of chronic illness
Mangoes contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and unique micronutrients. To better understand the health benefits of this tropical fruit, a study from San Diego State University looked at 27 overweight and obese adults who consumed 100 calories of fresh mangoes or 100 calories of low-fat cookies every day for 12 weeks. Compared to those who ate the cookies, the participants who ate the mango showed improvements in certain risk factors for chronic diseases, including fasting glucose levels and inflammation, although cholesterol levels and body weight were not affected. These results suggest that consuming mango daily compared to the low-fat cookies might improve certain risk factors related to being overweight or obese.
Martin Rosas will present this research online in poster P07-067-21 during NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE from Monday, June 7th to 5:30 pm on Friday, June 10th (excerpt; presentation details).
Ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric supplements linked with cholesterol benefits
Ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric have been used in food preparation for centuries and are considered beneficial for health due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, but their effects on health and certain diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease require further research. A new study from Clemson University looked at how these spices, as well as the curcumin and curcuminoid pigments found in turmeric, affect cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers analyzed 28 trials of randomized controlled trials that enrolled a total of 1,049 control patients and 1,035 patients who received the spice supplements in capsule form for one to three months. They found that ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, curcumin, and curcuminoids were generally linked to improved lipid profiles for people with type 2 diabetes. Considerations included spice dosage, type, duration of consumption, and population characteristics. Although the studies available are limited and more study is needed, the results suggest that these spices may have potential benefits for people with type 2 diabetes and unhealthy high cholesterol levels.
Sepideh Alasvand will present this research online in poster P07-024-21 during NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE from Monday, June 7th to 5:30 pm on Friday, June 10th (excerpt; presentation details).