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Health benefits of herbs and spices: the past, the present, the future

01/08/2012 15:21

 

As several metabolic diseases and age-related degenerative disorders are closely associated with oxidative processes in the body, the use of herbs and spices as a source of antioxidants to combat oxidation warrants further attention. Immediate studies should focus on validating the antioxidant capacity of herbs and spices after harvest, as well as testing their effects on markers of oxidation. This will work in parallel with clinical trials that are aiming to establish antioxidants as mediators of disease prevention.

From a dietary perspective, the functionality of herbs and spices will be exposed through consideration of their properties as foods. As with most foods, the real benefits of including them in the diet are likely to emerge with a better understanding of the attributes of health that are best supported by food, and in methodological developments addressing the evidence base for their effects. These developments are well underway through evidence-based frameworks for substantiating health claims related to foods. At present, recommendations are warranted to support the consumption of foods rich in bioactive components, such as herbs and spices. With time, we can expect to see a greater body of scientific evidence supporting the benefits of herbs and spices in the overall maintenance of health and protection from disease.

 

 

https://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/185_04_210806/supplement_210806.html

 

 

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