What is that one ingredient that is vital for cooking? It is undoubtedly table salt. It adds the much-needed flavour to your favourite dishes. Not adding salt to most cooked dishes makes them bland in taste, something that is not easy on your tongue. Table salt contains iodine. Iodine maintains the body’s fluid balance and regulates the function of the muscles and tissues.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that you should consume 1.5 grams to 2.3 grams of table salt (Sodium Chloride) every day. But on average, we consume much more than that, especially people who have a habit of sprinkling salt into their food during every meal.
Within limits, iodized table salt is good for you. But when you exceed the daily quota, it can have terrible effects on your health. It will make your blood pressure shoot up. And what happens then? Heart problems, kidney disorders, and it affects your brain health too.
The solution is to bring down your salt consumption. Alternatively, here are the top 5 alternatives to table salt.
Garlic is overlooked as a substitute for salt. It adds a sharp and immediately striking flavour to any dish, and it is really good for you. It contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and is frequently linked to the prevention of high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and other serious illnesses.
Chilli is only for those who enjoy their food hot and spicy. Chillies have the added benefit of reducing cravings for salty, fatty and sugary foods. Chilli contains up to 7 times as much vitamin C as an orange. Consumption of chillies has been linked to the reduction of inflammation and the relief of aches, pains and other minor ailments.
Thyme has a flavour that adds depth to meat, fish, stews, casseroles, curries and many other dinnertime favourites. Its flexibility is a great asset, and there is almost nothing that you cannot try it with. It is linked to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, boosting the immune system, and more strangely, treating acne.
Pepper, has a sharp, bold flavour. You would be surprised at how much it livens up foods that are often just salted, such as chips. Unlike salt, however, it’s much better for you. Consuming black pepper triggers an increase in the production of HCl in the stomach, which aids digestion.
Ginger is one of the few spices that you could use for both dinner and dessert. It is as delicious on ice cream as it is on a fresh salad. In soups, stir-fries, curries and cuts of meat like pork and chicken, ginger adds a delicious zest and sweetness. Ginger is a great digestive aid, and can also be a great way to get rid of coughs and colds.