Spice Up Your Food Without Using Salt!

Spice Up Your Food Without Using Salt!

By: Courtney Sudac

            Salt makes everything test better, right? The salt shaker isn’t exactly the problem these days. Sodium find its ways in all types of packaged and processed foods, deli meat, canned vegetables, and of course fast food.

Daily Intake

Are you aware of what your daily intake of sodium should be? The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. The ideal daily intake should be around 1,500 mg of sodium.

Health Effects

Excessive sodium intake can result in health issues such as: high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, headaches, kidney stones, kidney disease, stomach cancer, and osteoporosis.  Excessive sodium leads to water retention which can lead to: puffiness, bloating, and weight gain.

Potassium

People in the United States have a dietary imbalance of potassium and sodium, consuming too little potassium and too much sodium. Potassium is a mineral that plays a key role with fluid balance in your body. It is known for decreasing your blood pressure as it relaxes the blood vessel walls. The more potassium we eat, the more sodium is passed out of our body through our urine. The recommended intake for potassium is 4, 700 mg a day. Are you wondering what are great sources of potassium besides bananas? Citrus fruits, vegetables, avocados, spinach, prunes, and sardines are all great sources of potassium.

Herbs

Spices and herbs are a great way to spice up your food without adding salt to it. There are many herbs and spices to choose from for all different types of cuisines and taste preferences. Some spices, such as turmeric, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic, even have beneficial health effects as they are all anti-inflammatory. To get the most flavor from herbs, crush or rub them before adding them to the dish. Buy herbs and spices in small amounts as you need them rather than storing them for a long time. If you are using fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro, store them in water so they stay fresh.

How to Use Your Spices

Basil : Use in soups, salads, vegetables, fish, and meats
Cayenne Pepper: Use in meats, poultry, stews, and sauces
Chili Powder: Use in meats, poultry, and stews
Cilantro: Use in meats, sauces, stews, and rice
Cinnamon: Use in salads, vegetables, breads, snacks and meats
Cumin: Use in meats and poultry
Curry Powder: Use in meats, shellfish, and vegetables
Dill Weed and Dill Seed: Use in fish, soups, salads, and vegetables
Ginger: Use in soups, salads, vegetables, and meats
Nutmeg: Use in vegetables and meats
Parsley: Use in salads, vegetables, fish, and meats
Thyme: Use in salads, vegetables, fish, and chicken

Conclusion

If you’re still not sold on the harsh effects from salt, take into consideration that more than 360,00 Americans deaths in 2013 included high blood pressure as a primary contributing factor. That is almost 1,000 deaths each day. Making simple changes such as eating out less, not using the salt shaker at dinner time, using herbs to spice up your food, and increasing your potassium intake can such a positive impact on your health.