Spice up your Summer with Sumac

 

sumac spice

sumac salad

As we learned during our recent trip, Sumac is a Middle Eastern herbal gem. This tart and sour spice adds a flavorful kick when used as a sauce or sprinkled on chicken, fish and salad (see our peach, beet, almond and greens above). But it is Sumac’s medicinal properties that takes this colorful spice to the next level, making it well worth its weight in “burgundy” gold.

Here are 7 reasons why you should pay a visit to your local Middle Eastern market.

1. Sumac reduces inflammation,  an important contributor to heart disease and other chronic conditions.  (Stay tuned for the results of a landmark study examining the effect of reducing inflammation on heart disease).

2. Sumac improves blood glucose control in diabetics by reducing insulin resistance.

3. Sumac has powerful antioxidant effects.  The powerful antioxidant PON1, is believed to contribute to the heart-protective role of HDL, “the good cholesterol”.  Check out this recent study.

4. Sumac may raise the level of HDL cholesterol.

5. Sumac may reduce growth of certain tumors. 

6. Sumac may slow the aging process.

7. Sumac expands blood vessels that in turn may lower blood pressure.

Bottom Line: Spice up your summer with Sumac…it will not only brighten your day but it’s also good for your heart!

Dr. Miller is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His most recent book, “Heal Your Heart…” is available on Amazon with all proceeds donated to the American Heart Association.

 

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