I know there isn’t a “clove” season, but if there were, this is the beginning of it! Hot spiced cider or mulled wine anyone? Fellow Oatie, Karen, got the season started with her great blog about cloves! Lots of great information there.
And, it looks like cloves are on the minds of food scientists this time of year too. Cloves were the subject of a study published in the September issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food! The scientists were looking at cloves as a treatment for Metabolic Syndrome or Type 2 Diabetes. Previous studies show that clove extract has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels, which is really helpful for both those health issues. The goal of this study was to figure out why.
The study investigated the effect of cloves on metabolism in muscle cells. What exactly is “metabolism”? By definition, it is the sum of the chemical reactions that take place within each cell that provides energy for all vital processes. Basically, metabolism will determine how well a cell will function. In the study, cloves improved the ability of the muscle cells to import sugar from the blood stream and convert the sugar to ATP, the fuel for all living cells in the human body. The muscle cells also showed the ability to use the improved sugar intake more effectively which increased the capacity for ATP production. More ATP means more energy … in muscle cells … in all cells! OK, that’s all great (at least I think it is), but what does that really mean? Basically, it means that cloves improved the health and energy in the muscle cells tested in this study. It also showed that the cloves functioned much like insulin because it opened the import channels that allow sugar to leave the blood stream and enter the cells, to be converted to energy … and it also improved functioning inside the cells. This is big news.
In integrative medicine, cloves are suggested as a helpful aid for many different concerns. The fact that cloves can help to stabilize blood sugar and improve cellular metabolism is good news for us all. Now, I don’t anticipate that we’ll start eating cloves by the handful, but it may be smart to chew on a clove once or twice a day. You can also put some cloves in a small amount of honey and soak for at least 8 hours. Keep it in the frig and spoon out a honey/clove combo as desired. It’s a nice way to soften the clove and sweeten the taste.
Anyone ready for a quick jog? We have healthy muscles to support!