Salt is sodium plus chloride. In tiny quantities, both chloride and sodium are essential for growth and health. However, too much sodium in the diet can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
The US Dietary Guidelines recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300mg per day, but the average amount of sodium we really intake is around 3400mg per day.
Here are 20 healthy spices and herbs as salt alternatives:
Basil has been grown and used for 5000 years and has hundreds of varieties. The most frequent cooking basil used as a fresh herb in recipes is Italian basil, that boasts many health benefits due to its high levels of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.
Garlic (botanical name – Allium sativum) is a herb used widely as a flavoring in cooking. Furthermore, garlic is used presently by some individuals for the prevention of some types of cancers (such as – prostate, lung, stomach, or breast). The sulphur-containing substance found in fresh garlic, called Allicin, has antifungal and anti-bacterial properties. It is an extremely healthy and cost-effective salt alternative and tastes absolutely fantastic.
Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb that has been used in traditional medicine for millenniums. This herb isn’t a classic salad spice but it works wonders in a number of refreshing summer dishes. Its needlelike leaves have a potent lemon-pine flavor that combines well with olive oil and garlic.
Marjoram, also called sweet marjoram, contains numerous substances that have effective antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Ideally, you should add fresh sweet marjoram to your dish near the final part of cooking.
Sage has one of the longest histories of use of any medicinal or culinary herb. It contains a variety of volatile oils, phenolic acids, and flavonoids (such as – diosmetin, apigenin, and luteolin).
Allspice, better known as Jamaican pepper, provides an unusual aroma but it can relieve digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach ache, nausea, indigestion, and vomiting.
Oregano is a very flavorful herb that is usually used in Greek, Italian, and Spanish cooking. The active substances which give oregano its pleasant and unique smell are pinene, thymol, carvacrol, limonene, caryophyllene, and ocimene.
The aromatic flavor of thyme complements sauces of eggplants and hot peppers. This herb is packed with beta carotene and is a good source of vitamin C, plus, it has antifungal and antiseptic properties.
Cumin is a herb that has a distinct flavor frequently used in taco seasonings. Besides its culinary uses, cumin is known for its medicinal properties since ancient times. This aromatic spice is also extremely good for digestion and stomach problems.
As a spice, saffron is renowned for its pungent, earthy essence.
Lemongrass, a herb that belongs to the grass family of Poaceae, is a popular flavoring in Asian cooking. Moreover, lemongrass is valued medicinally as an effective remedy for a wide range of problems, from depression and fever to stomach troubles. Don’t forget to mix this herb with other spices to add exotic flavor to recipes.
Once prized in the East Indies for its powerful medicinal benefits, cardamom is now also used as a spice to add flavor to foods.
The cayenne pepper, also known as the Guinea spice, provides flavor and heat to your meals. Cayenne pepper is a member of the Capsicum family of vegetables, which are more usually known as chili peppers. It contains vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin E, and manganese.
Clove is one of the spices indigenous to India, Indonesia, and Pakistan. The active compounds in cloves increase digestion power and gut motility through improved gastrointestinal enzyme secretions. Additionally, clove is an aphrodisiac and its fragrance eliminates fatigue and exhaustion symptoms.
#15 Anise seeds
Anise, a plant native to Egypt and Greece, is one of the earliest spices recognized to humanity. Anise seeds are an important source of minerals such as – iron, calcium, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, and magnesium.
Nutmeg is a sweet spice that is commonly used in cuisines around the world. For centuries, it has been used as a medicinal spice that brings relief from stomach and digestive problems.
Ginger is a frequent ingredient in Indian and Asian cuisine and is a storehouse of bioactive compounds and essential nutrients that have potent health benefits for your brain and body. Ayurvedic medicine has praised ginger’s capacity to improve the immune system. Consuming fresh ginger is an easy method to flavor drinks and foods without adding extra sodium.
Parsley, a herb indigenous to the Mediterranean region, is known to be helpful in maintaining good vision as well as minimizing the risk of arteriosclerosis and type 2 diabetes Mellitus. Furthermore, raw parsley has anti-inflammatory properties.
#19 Annatto seeds
Annatto seeds are used to strengthen and balance the liver and reduce liver inflammation. They are packed with antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins which benefit skin health. Additionally to high levels of antioxidants, these seeds contain high levels of vitamin B9 (folate).
Cinnamon is an aromatic spice that has been used in traditional medicine from the times of the Greeks and Romans. Many of cinnamon’s fantastic characteristics come from one potent compound – cinnamaldehyde, which gives cinnamon its odor and flavor.
Reducing your sodium consumptions takes more than just removing it from the table because the majority of the sodium in one’s diet comes from packaged and processed foods.
References http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/ http://news.psu.edu/story/335124/2014/11/18/research/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16190627 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810101607.htm