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Gravies, salad dressings, table salt, and creamy sauces: if you’ve had weight-loss surgery, or if you’re just trying to lose weight in general, these types of flavorings will do more bad than good for your waistline. Not only do these types of flavorings often contain excessive amounts of sodium and sugar, but they also contain additives and preservatives that can worsen inflammation and other health problems you may be suffering from.
While it can be difficult to say goodbye to your favorite toppings and flavorings, the good news is that you can enhance the flavor of your food just as well using natural herbs and spices. Certain herbs and spices can really liven up the taste of your meals, and even contain antioxidants and other compounds that can help resolve and improve select health conditions.
If you’re making a conscious effort to eat healthier and lose weight, start using these four herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of your meals.
Most Italian pasta sauces already contain garlic powder, but if you make your own homemade Italian sauce, add fresh garlic for a punch. Garlic tastes great in most dishes, especially Italian, Chinese, and Mexican dishes. Just an ounce of garlic is packed with vitamins C and B6, selenium, fiber, calcium, and manganese, and can help strengthen your immune system, lower your blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and ward off diseases.
Cinnamon tastes great on more foods that you might initially think, such as rice and meat, but it also tastes great when added to tea, oatmeal, and apple slices. Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar levels, lower your risk for cancer, and lower bad cholesterol.
3. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is one of the best natural ingredients you can use to spice up any meal. You can even add it to snacks such as hummus and popcorn instead of using salt. Native Americans and Chinese have used cayenne pepper as medicine for thousands of years due to the spice’s antioxidant properties and its ability to ward off arthritis and headaches.
Mint is one of the most unsuspecting herbs that tastes great in more than just teas. Mint can liven up and complement the flavor of homemade salad dressings and vinaigrettes, and tastes just as great on salads or on peas and lima bean side dishes. Mint contains properties and antioxidants that relieve the common cold and allergies, improve digestion, reverse depression and anxiety, and drive weight loss by stimulating digestive enzymes that consume fat and turning them into energy.