Have you considered using herbs in place of salt when cooking? Salt is in just about everything you eat. This is particularly true if you eat out often. In fact, the average intake of salt is 3,400 mg a day. The recommended intake is around 2,300 mg and if you have high blood pressure or other sodium related complications then you’re generally required to keep it below 1,500 mg a day. Too much sodium causes heart and renal disease. It also causes cancer and a variety of other health problems. The key to cutting sodium is to get savvy with your cooking.
Herbs can help add flavor where you ordinarily use salt. Herbs add a powerful flavor punch and they also offer a variety of health benefits. Here are 6 herbs to help you use less salt.
6 Herbs to Try for Salt Reduction:
Garlic is the queen of seasoning. It’s one of the most flavorful seasonings and you can find it in just about every culture. From Mexican to Greek, garlic is always a favorite. And garlic is versatile too. You can roast it for a sweet flavor, sauté it for a nice rich flavor and you can even boil it. Try adding a bit of roasted or boiled garlic to your next batch of mashed potatoes and skip the salt. You won’t miss it.
Throughout ancient history, the main use of garlic was for health and medicinal uses. When using it in recipes in place of salt, you can feel confident in your decision because it’s highly nutritious, yet low in calories. It’s known to boost the immune system as well as an aid for reducing blood pressure. I love using garlic on my Garlic-Herb Whole Roasted Chicken.
Chives are another great herb. A member of the onion family, the smallest of the onion family, they work well in salads, on fish and in potato dishes as well. Want to help improve your bone density and prevent osteoporosis? Chives are packed full of Vitamin K to help. They also improve memory, offer a good dose of folate, and can also benefit your eyesight.
Basil is fantastic and tastes great in Thai and Italian recipes. It’s also a nice touch for a salad. Use fresh or dried to add flavor to a number of meals. Basil is a good source of Vitamin K, iron, calcium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. As a powerful antioxidant, Basil helps the body shed damaging free radicals.
Commonly used in Italian cooking and combined with basil, oregano has a complicated flavor that ranges from sweet to spicy depending on the meal. It’s also used in Turkish, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, and Latin cooking. It’s also often used to season sautéed vegetables and grilled meat including chicken. Fresh or dried, oregano is a favorable herb. I love using oregano in my Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti!
We most commonly think of sage as a Thanksgiving stuffing herb however sage is great at adding flavor to meat. It’s also used in sausage, soup and some Italian cooking. I love using whole leaves to create my Tuscan Pork Chops and White Beans!
Ginger has quite a kick and will make anyone forget about the salt. It’s wonderful in soups, and can be found in Indian, Chinese and Japanese recipes. It’s works well with meat and vegetables. It’s also noted for its ability to aid digestion.
Salt is a necessary mineral. However, we’re consuming too much as a society. When there are so many other wonderful herbs, why bother with salt? Enjoy and experiment with the vast number of herbs nature provides.