Spice up your life
A UGA study suggests that herbs and spices are not only rich in antioxidants but may also inhibit tissue damage and inflammation caused by high blood sugar. Researchers tested extracts from 24 herbs and spices and found a direct correlation between antioxidant (phenol) content and the ability of the extracts to block the formation of certain compounds that contribute to the damage caused by diabetes and aging.
Blueberries, which are widely known for their antioxidant properties, contain about 5 percent phenol by dry weight. Spices such as cloves and cinnamon, though, were found to contain phenol levels of 30 and 18 percent, respectively. Oregano—8 percent phenol dry weight—and sage—6 percent phenol dry weight—were also found to contain more antioxidant properties than blueberries.
The study, conducted by researchers in UGA’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences and College of Pharmacy, was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.