No one wants to eat bland food. Flavouring can come from eating a healthy meal or eating a processed, salt-covered, fried, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen dinner. For whatever reason, we have decided salt is the be all and end all of flavour. It has become common practice to sprinkle your plate with salt even before tasting your food. This is an unfortunate reality. While salt adds flavour, it is far from the only way to boost the taste of your food.
Choose a natural flavour option that is actually healthy for you. There are many herbs and spices that are packed with flavour.
Healthy Flavour Options
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is popular in baking and cooking. This potent flavor stick is packed with health benefits. Cinnamon has a huge impact on lowering your blood sugars. It has been proven to help bring down the resting blood sugar levels in diabetics. It also contains a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation and also lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Sage: Sage, also known by its scientific name salvia, is known as the healing plant. Sage has been popular in many cultures as a purification tool. This herb has been shown to improve brain function and memory.
Peppermint: Peppermint is one plant worth growing. Not only can you use it to make tea or mojitos, but you can also use it to add a fresh taste to your cooking. Peppermint can soothe nausea and has a relaxing effect on your abdomen. It reduces abdominal bloating and helps relieve pains suffered by people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Turmeric: Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow colour. It also contains an incredible antioxidant called curcumin. Curcumin helps fight the oxidative damage going on in your body and helps boost your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes at the same time. It has been shown to help fight Alzheimer’s, boosting brain function, and reduce the risk of devolving cancer. It can also relieve arthritis, and is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories you can find.
Saffron: Everyone can use a little more saffron in their life. Saffron has been shown to relieve the symptoms of depression, boosting your mood. For women, saffron helps relieve the symptoms of PMS.
Cayenne pepper: If you like spice start loading up on cayenne pepper. Even if you aren’t a lover of hot dishes, a sprinkle of cayenne can do you some good and liven up your dish. Cayenne contains something called capsaicin, which reduces your appetite (helping you stop cravings) and boosts the amount of fat you burn.
Ginger: Ginger is another fabulous spice for treating nausea. Less known benefits of this spice are its anti-inflammatory principles. It can also reduce the pain and stiffness caused by osteoarthritis.
Rosemary: Rosemary is a fairly common herb used in cooking but the health benefits are less known. This plant suppresses the seasonal allergic response and reduces congestion. In addition, it adds a fantastic taste and aroma to your cooking.
Garlic: Garlic is a perfect substitution for salt. Garlic contains a soothing component called allicin, which is responsible for garlic’s smell and health benefits. Garlic is tied to combating sickness including the common cold. Garlic also has benefits for your heart. It lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduces blood pressure. This strong smelling plant is a tasty way to load your food with healthy flavour.
Chile pepper: Like the cayenne pepper, Chile peppers contain capsaicin, boosting your fat burning and lowering your appetite. These hot peppers also release a natural cooling effect in the body and lower the risk of stomach ulcers.
Parsley: This popular herb has an amazing health benefit. Besides being an excellent source of vitamin K and C, it also reduces your risk of developing cancer.
You can make your own spice mix. There are numerous recipes online. Make it in bulk and you’ll have it the next time you need it. If you know you won’t make a spice mix yourself, you can buy healthy mixes at your local supermarket. Be careful, most are loaded with salt. Read the ingredients list. Look for a mix made of healthy, whole food ingredients that don’t include salt.
Besides herbs and spices, you can also be a smart chef and mix in flavourful foods. One easy flavour fix is to squirt lemon onto your dish. It’s packed with flavour and health benefits.
You should enjoy meals packed with flavour. Use herbs and spices to not only liven up your dishes but to also boost your health. Choose good whole foods, and be smart when you add flavour.