My patients all know that I am a fundamentalist…what does that mean? That means that I love to use food as medicine first. If I can help a patient be healthier simply by changing their diet and if that’s all he or she needs to feel good, I’d rather they do that than take supplements. I believe that a healthy diet is the foundation of the path towards achieving optimal health.
Having said that, I do believe in the benefits of plants…whether it’s in the form of spinach and other vegetables or as herbs. One of my favorite herbs is rosemary. It smells good, tastes good and works really well in a lot of recipes. But not only that, it’s good for us.
A lot of my patients think rosemary is good for inflammation but what’s great about rosemary is that when you are eating it in your yummy meals, it is actually helping you be more metabolically efficient. What does that mean?
It means that rosemary has been seen to help with your cholesterol and sugar metabolism and lab values. So for those in love with Italian food, get read to start cooking and eating towards a healthier you.
There are a lot of studies out there about rosemary including ones done in test tubes, in animal studies and also in human studies. I came upon a study that drew my attention. The reason that it drew my attention is that the study used rosemary dried herbs as therapy which means it’s easier to extrapolate into real life usage.
This study was done on 48 adults aged 20 to 57 years old with 23 men and 25 women. They were randomly divided into three groups and were randomly put into the 2 g/day, 5 g/day or 10 g/day group. They took it daily for 8 weeks and then had their total cholesterol, LDL, triglyceride, HDL, and serum blood glucose measured. They had baseline numbers for these checked before they took the rosemary as well.
The outcome of the study showed that although all three groups had improvement in all the parameters, the 10 g/day group had the most benefit. The group that took 10 g/day of rosemary had 34.48% reduction in total cholesterol, 34.28% reduction in LDL (bad cholesterol), 22.91% increase in HDL (good cholesterol), 29.06% reduction in triglyceride, and 18.25% reduction in serum blood glucose. So essentially, this is a great tasting awesome herb that makes your food taste great and helps you process what you’re eating in a better more efficient way.
The thing that is great about this study is that they measured out the dosing amount from dried herbs…just like if you were cooking so it’s super user-friendly.
If you want to portion out for the family to make sure each person gets their therapeutic dose, you can trying sprinkling it on each person’s plate to control for dosing.
So…the takeaway point is to use rosemary in your cooking if you can and this is a guide to show you how much to help with your cholesterol, sugar and triglyceride profile.
Labban L, Mustafa UE, Ibrahim YM. The Effects of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) Leaves Powder on Glucose Level, Lipid Profile, and Lipid Perodoxation. Intl J of Clin Med. 2014. 5. 297-304.