Are you one of those people that like to add salt to everything? We don’t blame you.
Salt is the perfect spice — it just makes everything better. Bad soup? Add salt. Not-so-sweet plantain? Add salt. Juicy watermelon? Add salt.
But all of this salt intake is sure to be bad for your health. Excess salt causes water weight and bloating, as well as heart problems down the road.
Eating foods without proper seasoning would be madness, but luckily, salt isn’t the only seasoning that gives food great flavor.
Keep reading to learn about some of the healthiest herbs and spices that will make your food taste just as great as salt does.
Like a little spice in your life? Cayenne pepper has been long known as a great alternative for salt.
This lightly spiced herb satisfies your salty cravings while adding an extra kick to your food.
Try sprinkling cayenne on top of your eggs in the morning instead of salt and pepper. The spice also goes great in pretty much everything, from soups and beans to casseroles and curries.
Ginger is a spice that many people aren’t fully used to using.
Ginger has a strange flavor, unique to itself. It’s also a bit spicy, which can make the spice a bit confusing to use.
Try grating fresh ginger onto poultry or vegetables. You can also pickle ginger and use it as a pallet refresher after or in between meals.
Ginger is a great salty substitute because the strong flavors will boost the level of your food and the spice will add a subtle kick.
Paprika is incredibly underrated for its talents. Fresh paprika is great on potatoes and eggs. But, much like cayenne, it’s a pretty versatile spice.
Be sure to buy quality paprika. When this herb starts to age, it loses its flavor and begins to turn bitter.
Look for paprika that is bright orange or light red in color.
Turmeric is similar to ginger in that many people believe it is a cure-all herb.
Turmeric is believed to be healthy for cancer patients, people with inflammation disorders, and those with troubled immune systems. It’s also believed to boost brain activity and lowers the risk of brain diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimers.
Turmeric is a root that, when ground up, is yellow in color. Also known as the “Indian saffron,” it can be used on vegetables, potatoes, poultry, and beans to give them an earthy flavor.
Fun fact: Mustard is not naturally yellow. It actually gets this yellow color from added turmeric.
Lemon or Lime Juice
Lemons and limes are beautiful ingredients that every culinary master treasures.
You can use lemon and lime interchangeably, and they go great over both meat and veggies. The citrus flavor is perfect for satisfying salty cravings.
Pro Tip: Instead of salting your broccoli or asparagus, try seasoning them with an entire lemon, some garlic, then sprinkle some cayenne to finish.
The best part about these citrus fruits is that you can use the entire thing. Squeeze the juice and pulp into your meal, then slice up the peeling and add it to some veggies you’re frying up or even a pitcher of water to give it a citrusy feel.
Nutritional yeast a little miracle in a jar. This good-for-you powder is a staple in many vegan diets because not only is it healthy for your body, but it also adds a great cheesy flavor to any dish.
Cheese without the calories? Yes, please!
You can sprinkle nutritional yeast over pretty much anything, but it goes particularly great in broccoli or cauliflower dishes and especially good in soups and casseroles.
You’ll be able to reap all the cheesy goodness without the guilt and heavy tummy.
If You Must Salt, Try These
If you feel like you just can’t cut the salt — and most of us don’t actually cut it completely — you might consider some healthy alternatives to standard table salt.
Here are our favorites.
Seaweed or Kelp
Seaweed or kelp can be bought in little granules, just like coarse salt. These powerful plants are heavily packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals, and come with a natural salty flavor.
Use seaweed granules in Asian dishes and on fishy foods. Try sprinkling some on a fillet of salmon with a bit of lemon juice.
You’ll still get some sodium, but this way you’re also getting vitamins and natural flavors.
There is a salt alternative out there that many people use when they have medical problems that don’t allow them to eat salt at all.
No salt is a product that is potassium-based instead of sodium-based. Since potassium is also an electrolyte, it carries a natural salty flavor.
You can use it in everything that you would use salt in.
This type of salt is found deep in the Himalayan mountains. Yes, it is still salt, but it’s healthier than the highly processed, iodized stuff you find for $0.50 at a grocery store.
It’s usually a bit more expensive, but the added health benefits are worth the extra dime.
Boost Your Spice Rack with the Healthiest Herbs and Spices
Don’t be salty. Cutting out the excess sodium in your life will be totally worth it in the end. Only using the healthiest herbs and spices will have you fitting into your favorite jeans again, and your heart will thank you.
All this salty-talk making you thirsty? Check out this article on 7 ways to stay hydrated.