By: Adam L.
Spices are what give our food flavor and meaning.
Cultures have featured them in cuisine for centuries.
When you see all that sumac does, you’ll see why sumac is poised to be the world’s most popular anti-inflammatory spice.
Now, many of you reading this may associate sumac with a dangerous plant that grows in North America called “poison sumac.”
The two are entirely unrelated.
Various sumac-type plants grow all over the Far-East and some grow in North America. But the spice used in various forms of culinary delights comes from the crushed, dried berries of the Rhus coriaria sumac plant, which grows in the Mediterranean.
Chances are if you eat a standard American diet, you’ve not had much sumac in your life.
However, if you branch out and eat foods from other cultures, you may recognize its appearance in dishes like za’atar. The tangy, lemony flavor pairs well with fatty meals and its flavor is not overpowering, which is why it’s commonly added to dishes across the Mediterranean and Far East.
Available wherever spices are sold, sumac may become the new turmeric… now you’re about to learn why.
4 Powerful Ways Sumac Affects Health
Sumac acts on various pathways of the body, all of which are associated with significantly essential aspects of your health.
The first is closely tied to your likelihood of developing diabetes.
1 – Sumac helps regulate blood sugar:
Studies indicate sumac helps subjects become more sensitive to insulin, which helps them regulate their blood sugar more efficiently. Typically, the development of type 2 diabetes is the result of the body not absorbing insulin properly, which creates high-blood sugar levels and the inability to use blood sugar for energy.
Studies indicate taking sumac can help a person use insulin with greater efficiency, which could help lower blood sugar.
In a study of 41 people who had blood sugar issues, all it took was adding 3 grams of sumac over 3 months to help decrease blood sugar levels. Researchers noted a 13% decrease and it helped improve their ability to control blood sugar compared to a group taking a placebo.
Similar studies support the claim that sumac improves insulin sensitivity.
2 – Sumac is rich in antioxidants:
One of the reasons turmeric has become so popular is because it has antioxidant effects. Like turmeric, sumac is one of the best sources of plant-based antioxidants in the world. Scoring high on the ORAC chart (a measurement of total antioxidant capacity), sumac delivers antioxidants in the form of pyranoanthocyanins and other polyphenols.
These antioxidants help protect your cells from cell damage, which can lead to early cell death, or mutations. The antioxidant power could help extend your life and prevent the formation of cancers.
3 – Is a potent anti-inflammatory:
While most people are familiar with anti-inflammatory agents, they traditionally think of these agents working to help mitigate the ill-effects of chronic inflammation.
While sumac can do that (this is one thing its antioxidant properties help with), sumac is also helpful at helping to lessen localized local inflammation.
Research indicates sumac (in the form of sumac juice) helps to relieve muscle and joint pain that occurs as the result of exercise. Inflammation that leads to pain is generally treated with things like Motrin, or icepacks, both of which are meant to reduce inflammation.
Sumac juice can have the same, potent effect.
4 – May improve heart health:
The health of your heart is integral to the rest of your body’s health metrics. If your heart begins to perform at sub-optimal levels, you’ll feel it.
Sumac could help to protect your heart.
A study by researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran demonstrated taking sumac helped to bring down high cholesterol as well as scrubbing the blood free of potentially dangerous triglycerides. Other studies with sumac supported the findings that sumac is a dependable cardio-protective herb.
Understand This Before Taking Sumac
While sumac supplements are available, one of the best ways to get sumac is via your diet.
Sumac is available in many health-food stores as well as Amazon.
It’s generally recommended you purchase sumac that has an organic label. Because it comes from countries without stringent quality-control programs, getting organic helps prevent you from consuming sumac that may be tainted with pesticides or herbicides.