November 15, 2012 by thehealthyheartcenter
Salt is the go-to seasonings in most American households, however, excessive consumptions of salt can lead to multiple health problems. The American Heart Association has decreased the recommended intake for sodium to now 1,500 mg per day, while just 1 teaspoon of salt offers 2,000 mg. So instead of reaching for the salt shaker, spices and herbs are a great alternative to add flavor to essentially any meal.
Herbs such as cinnamon, garlic, tumeric, and ginger contain much less sodium and also offer benefitting properties linked to lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. Virtually all herbs and spices display antioxidant activity as well as providing medicinal effects.
-Cinnamon: Various studies have shown cinnamon to control blood sugar in diabetics
-Garlic: May slow the development of atherosclerosis and seems to have the ability to modestly decrease blood pressure. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of developing stomach and colon cancers.
-Ginger: Known for helping lessen nausea and vomiting, and may reduce symptoms of dizziness. There has also been evidence that that ginger may offer some benefit in reducing pain, such as in osteoarthritis.
-Tumeric: A main ingredient in curry blends, has been shown to reduce symptoms of indigestion.
So what are ways to use herbs and spices?
1. “Sweet spices” such as cinnamon and clove compliment savory dishes.
2. “Savory spices” like thyme, rosemary, and pepper go well in sweet dishes.
3. Chile pepper of all kinds are great to add spice and heat.
4. Roasting or toasting spices such as cumin, cinnamon, and coriander.
5. Smoked spices such as black pepper and paprika.
6. Dry rubs as alternatives to marinades.
7. Experiment! What may seem like an unusual combination may actually produce a flavorful tasty dish.
By adding more natural seasonings to your household you’re not only benefitting your health, but also spicing up your life! Try it today!