Determining how long you will live is part guesswork – you cannot wholly predict the obstacles life will throw at you – but there is a mountain of evidence that suggests following a healthy diet can boost your longevity. The primary benefits eating well brings is that is creates a buffer against life-threatening complications. Heart disease, which is a major killer in the UK and worldwide, for example, is largely avoidable if you eat heart-healthy foods.
In the fight against deadly health conditions, some foods have been shown to provide greater protection than others.
Interestingly, certain spices have been touted for their myriad health benefits.
Here are three such spices:
Cayenne pepper is a staple of spicy dishes but in addition to sprucing up certain meals, it has also has been shown to provide protective benefits.
Research shows that capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper, reduces appetite and increases fat burning.
READ MORE: How to get rid of visceral fat: The four best foods to consume for banishing visceral fat
Turmeric spice that is derived from the ginger family has been shown to offer some protection against a number of health threats.
The magic ingredient is a bioactive compound found in turmeric called curcumin, which is thought to help maintain brain, heart, and lung function, as well as protect against cancers and age-related diseases.
Curcumin is also linked to an increased lifespan in both insects and mice.
Cinnamon is often used to give an added oomph to many dishes but a compound found in the spice called cinnamaldehyde is responsible for its medicinal benefits.
Cinnamon has potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Cholesterol and triglycerides are types of fat found in your blood that can clog up your arteries and raise your risk of heart disease.
Cinnamon’s protective benefits are most pronounced in its effects on blood sugar levels, however.
Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several mechanisms, including by slowing the breakdown of carbs in the digestive tract and improving insulin sensitivity.
Studies have shown that cinnamon can lower fasting blood sugars by 10-29 percent in diabetic patients, which is a significant amount.
Why is it important to lower blood sugar levels?
Consistently high blood sugar levels raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition that can lead heart disease.
If you are already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, consuming cinnamon is also a great way to keep keep you blood sugar levels in check, staving off the risk of deadly complications.
Research suggests the effective dose is typically 0.5-2 teaspoons of cinnamon per day, or one to six grams.