Alright everyone, we are all eating way too much sodium and sugar in our diets, so let’s do something about it. Salt and sugar aren’t the only spices in your cabinet and if they are, boy oh boy, do you need to go shopping. It’s time to expand your pallet and let’s get some healthy options in your spice rack.

This isn’t something new I’m springing on you since all of these spices have been around since, well, the dawn of time. Cavemen were probably cooking with turmeric and cinnamon long before there ever was a McDonalds so there is no excuse.

Where did we go wrong and how do we correct it? I found 6 spices that can help pry us away form our sugar and salt dependencies. Hopefully these spices can zest up your life and help you get healthier.

 

Black Pepper

Salt’s best friend and road dog, pepper is here to save the day. Pepper has long been the redheaded stepchild to salt and it’s time to get out from the shadows. Pepper has been shown to impact fat cells and may help you lose weight.  

Pepper usually comes in two forms, whole peppercorns and ground. I like to use peppercorns in stocks, sauces and on steaks, which really bring the savory flavor out. I prefer to grind my own peppercorns in a grinder but you can buy it already ground if you like. Add it to any savory dish to pop those flavor bubbles.

 

Cinnamon

Sugar’s favorite companion, cinnamon is a magical spice that really packs a punch. Cinnamon is great for controlling sugar spikes so add a sprinkle to any sugary treat to make it healthier. Cinnamon also has been shown to help blood circulation and who doesn’t need that?

Cinnamon comes in two normal forms; grated and whole sticks. Toss a whole stick in a pot with some lemon juice and water to bring a smell of the holidays to your entire home. Adding cinnamon to any sweet dish allows you to use less sugar, so always add cinnamon.

 

Chilies

If you want to lose weight, add some chilies to any savory dish and you will eat less. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chilies and this helps with blood flow and a higher metabolism.

You can buy chilies fresh, dried, diced in flakes and grated. Chilies should be a staple in anyone’s kitchen. If you can’t handle spicy food well, just add less, even a little goes a long way.

 

Turmeric

Turmeric is the spice of Indian food and the star in curry dishes. It has long been linked to lower stress levels and digestive health. The hottest spice in your rack, turmeric is trending in 2017 and expect to see recipes pop up all over.

You can find the root whole in health food stores or buy it grated. The fresh roots are much less bitter so you may want to go that option.

 

Chai

Zest up your morning beverages with the exotic chai spice and benefit from its healing powers. Chai is actually a blend of six spices: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, fennel and ginger. This power pack of spices boosts your immune system, digestive system and blood circulation all while providing some caffeine.

Try a chai latte next time you are buying coffee and see if you like the alluring flavor.

 

Ginger

Ginger is an ancient medicine known to help nausea and has been used on ocean vessels for centuries. Ginger has a unique smell and flavor so it’s hard to miss. Adding ginger to a morning smoothie really punches up the taste and help benefits.

You can buy it as a whole root or dried and grated. Add some ginger to your next Asian meal and see the amazing differences.

 

Adding these 6 spices to your kitchen repertoire will make your food taste better and you will be eating healthier.

 

Photos courtesy of TheadPlan, BeBeautiful, organic, grammas, NDTV, youtube, authority