Many are aiming to reduce their salt intake and consume more beneficial ingredients, based on complications such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and more. It’s been reported that a reduction in salt intake is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve worldwide public health.

If you’re wondering how to improve your health without resorting to bland food, the answer is simple: herbs and spices. The following three benefits can be achieved when you swap salt for fresh herbs and spices.

Stabilize Your Blood Sugar

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 10 percent of the American population are currently suffering from diabetes, placing them at risk for cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, nerve damage and other complications. If you are currently diabetic, herbs and spices can support your health, especially when combined with a balanced and active lifestyle.

Cinnamon is highly recommended for this purpose, as it’s known to be a natural blood sugar balancer. One study reported that the consumption of cinnamon not only reduced fasting plasma glucose – but also LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

Improve Blood Pressure

In America, approximately 1 out of every 3 three adults suffers from high blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, stop adding salt to your meals and avoid processed foods. Instead, consume whole foods with herbs and spices, such as fresh basil, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric.

Cayenne pepper, for instance, is said to be one of the best ingredients to lower blood pressure and improve overall blood flow. Turmeric is another great choice for improving blood flow and reducing symptoms of hypertension and inflammation. A study published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition reported that turmeric supplements had a significant effect on systolic blood pressure.

Reduce Inflammation

Modern lifestyles are causing an influx of inflammatory conditions. Short-term inflammation is completely normal — it’s your body’s way of protecting you. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is extremely damaging. This is especially true regarding gut health, as the Western diet is increasing digestive inflammation.

This results in weakened immune function, increasing your risk of arthritis, depression, obesity, and cancer. Although there are plenty of herbs and spices that offer anti-inflammatory effects, cloves, ginger, allspice, turmeric and rosemary are highly effective at reducing inflammation.

Once you get into the routine of using these beneficial ingredients, you won’t even think twice about reaching for them. Stock up your pantry today to protect your future health.

Sources:

http://www.scielosp.org/pdf/rpsp/v32n4/08.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfactsheet/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24019277

http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_bloodpressure.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21742514