The body needs sodium to balance fluids in the body, contract muscles, send nerve impulses and lower blood pressure if required. However, while all these reasons may be valid, sodium has an adverse effect on the health if it is taken in excess. It also has opposite effects on the health of the heart as it increases blood pressure which may lead to heart disease. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day as part of a healthy diet. It is quite unfortunate that a lot of Americans consume more than this per day.
Reducing how much sodium you consume per day will reduce your risk of heart disease and also improve your health. A great way to make this happen is by eating more of home made meals, as many of those store-purchased meals contain a high level of sodium. Below are some ways to flavor your food while you maintain an ideal level of salt intake.
1. Make use of lemons
You can add lemon juice and zest to your meal to boost its flavor. Lemon is a good source of vitamin C and is known to aid in digestion, freshens the breath and improves skin quality. The citric acid in lemon juice also helps to break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins. You can take lemon juice alongside your meals or squeeze it into dishes to change the entire flavor.
2. Use herbs
A great way to reduce the amount of salt you add to your meals is by incorporating herbs into your diet. Herbs are affordable and they provide lots of benefits to the health due to their antioxidant properties. Some common herbs include; rosemary, parsley, mint, fennel, chives, basil, dill and coriander. Rosemary is usually used to improve chicken dishes and is known to relieve digestive distress. You can add basil to tomato salads and dill can be paired with steamed carrots. Both fresh and dried herbs can benefit you, although certain studies have found dried herbs to be even more potent and concentrated.
3. Use salt-free seasoning mix
Seasoning mixes are good, but quite a number of them contain a lot of salt. You can instead opt for salt-free seasoning mixes and make them readily available in your kitchen.
Reducing your salt intake doesn’t necessarily mean you reduce its flavor.
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