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Seasonings: What Are Healthier Options Than Salt?

July 22, 2015

Salt is one of our most used seasonings!  Unfortunately, it is a common cause of high blood pressure if used in excess quantities.  Here we will look at other alternatives for seasoning and their health benefits!

Allspice

  • Mixture of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  • Blocks glycation, which is related to aging
  • Helps with bad breath
  • Use with ground beef to “spice up” hamburgers and meat loaf

Aniseed (anise)

  • Helps with digestion and eliminating bad breath
  • Also believed to help with coughs, memory and skin problems
  • Sprinkle into soups, curries, and stews. Heat whole seeds with honey in skillet and drizzle over yogurt

Cardamom

  • Sweet with a lemony citrus aroma
  • Contains cineole, which may lessen asthma symptoms by reducing inflammation
  • Reported to help with celiac disease and improve digestion
  • Grind and sprinkle on fruit salads and oatmeal

 Cayenne

  • Taste fiery and smoky
  • Contains capsaicin, a phytochemical which improves insulin sensitivity and lowers diabetes risk.  Capsaicin also believed to stimulate the metabolism
  • Capsaicin in creams helps with arthritis
  • Reports of lowering risk of blood clots and strokes
  • Can be used in chocolate recipes, hummus, scrambled eggs, and rice

Chili Powder

  • Taste in regards to heat level range from tame to volcanic
  • Curbs appetite and reduces calorie intake
  • Use on plain popcorn with butter-flavored spray

Chinese Five-Spice

  • Blend of peppercorns, cloves, fennel, star anise and cinnamon
  • Taste is combination of sweet, sour, pungent, bitter and salty
  • Has antioxidative properties
  • Commonly used with any form of protein

Cinnamon

  • Taste mildly sweet with heat
  • Antioxidant keeps blood sugars and energy levels balanced
  • Reported to help with indigestion, colds and fungal infections
  • Can use on whole-grain toast and oatmeal

Coriander

  • Taste mild with lemony trait
  • May ease anxiety and insomnia
  • Used to eliminate genital odors and bad breath
  • Use with chicken casseroles, stews or curry

Cumin

  • Taste a nutty flavor with peppery kick
  • Improves digestion and contains iron
  • Brush on salmon and lamb. Add to water to when steaming or boiling vegetables

Curry Powder

  • Mixture of turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon and coriander
  • Taste from sweet to hot
  • Contains antioxidants that combat heart disease
  • Used in a paste to relieve mosquito bites and bee stings
  • Use in salads

Fennel Seeds

  • Taste of licorice – like flavor
  • Freshens breath and relieve bloating
  • Use on salads, in soups, and with pork & veal

Garam Masala

  • Mixture of cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and black pepper
  • Taste is smoky with “some heat”
  • Antioxidant
  • Sprinkle over corn on the cob and popcorn

Ginger Powder

  • Taste tangy and warm
  • Anti-inflammatory properties to help with post workout pain
  • Helps with nausea and phlegm
  • May improve digestion
  • Combine with honey to form glaze for carrots and other vegetables.  Also  stir in green tea

Mustard

  • Taste range from mild to fiery
  • High in selenium to protect against skin cancer
  • Relieves low back pain and joint pain
  • Sauce used as a gravy for noodles, rice, potatoes or mushrooms

Nutmeg

  • Taste sweet
  • Has myristicin that helps fight infections
  • Used in recipes in for rice, meatballs,  soups, spinach broccoli and squash

Paprika

  • Taste ranges from bittersweet to warm to smoking hot
  • Has vitamin A, which helps with vision, bone growth and immunity
  • Use with shrimp, nuts and eggs.  Sprinkle over grilled cheese

Saffron

  • Taste slightly bitter.
  • Avoid yellow threads
  • May ease PMS symptoms
  • Can use in chicken broth as well over whitefish or shellfish

Star Anise

  • Taste strong, sweet flavor
  • Has anethole, oil with potential antiviral properties
  • Add to tea, soups or use as a marinade.  Also grind and use in a meat rub.

Turmeric

  • Taste bitter and woody
  • Contains curcumin that may help with belly fat
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Also reported to help with flatulence and diabetes
  • Add to egg dishes.  Also to boiling water for quinoa or rice

Vanilla

  • Taste is rich and smooth
  • May help with killing cancer cells
  • Use in marinades or chili

 There are many recipes available that use spices or be adventurous and create your own!  Happy cooking!

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