Unwitting salt addicts rejoice! A new study from China’s Daping Hospital’s Center for Hypertension & Metabolic Diseases at Third Military Medical University in Chongqing has shed some new light on the benefits of consuming spicy foods. The study may prove particularly important to those living with Chronic Kidney Disease due to their need to limit sodium intake. The research revealed by study author, Dr. Zhiming Zhu suggested that spicy food consumption increased salt sensitivity, which could make excessive salting of foods an unappealing option and thereby reduce its use.
Less salt consumption is better for everyone, but it’s of particular benefit to those battling kidney disease. Instead of adding salt to your meals, try experimenting with different spices instead. Sodium is present in many commercially-available seasonings and sauces, along with most canned and frozen prepared foods. Some healthier guilt-free alternatives which you could use instead include:
- Spices like cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes have a host of benefits, helping to enhance the metabolism and aid digestion.
- Curry, Basil and Dill are ideal for particularly bold dishes.
- Vinegar or lemon juice for those seeking a sharp, acidic flavor.
- Allspice, rosemary, thyme and ginger for savory recipes.
- Another great alternative which you can find right in the grocery store is Mrs. Dash. There are many different combinations available so you’ll never get bored.
- Another great tip for limiting salt and substituting with herbs/spices is combining your herbs with some olive oil and making a marinade before cooking.
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