Health benefits of herbs and spices in aging adults
Evidence from the literature suggests that herbs and spices and their components, such as cinna-mon, garlic, curcumin, and capsaicin, may have beneficial effects on health and behavioral outcomes. These outcomes characterize age-related chronic diseases, and the effects reported here may be mediated by the antioxidant actions of herbs and spices. The inclusion of herbs and spices in protective dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean and Okinawan diets, may play a role in contributing to their effects. Conversely, a paucity of herbs and spices may be linked to the detrimental health outcomes associated with the Western diet. The food or meal vehicle providing the herb or spice should also be considered when translating to dietary advice to preserve the beneficial role within a specific dietary pattern. Encouragement of a diet rich in herbs and spices may also improve acceptability of protective dietary patterns, suggesting that the impact of herbs and spices on healthy aging may be multifaceted.
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