Natural pure spices not only impart flavour & colour to the food but are rich in anti-oxidants and have anti-cancer properties (exception being red chillies which are cancerous). Some
examples of such spices are cardamom, cloves, coriander, mustard,
fenugreek, cumin, turmeric, black pepper, basil and mint leaves.
Some other beneficial effects of spices
* Fenugreek seeds delay gastric emptying & stimulate insulin secretion & hence are beneficial in diabetics. It is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
* Garlic is known to be an antioxidant as it prevents LDL oxidation hence is useful in patients with coronary artery disease.
* Fennel seeds,
cinnamon & cardamom are used for their carminative properties.
* Ocimum (Tulsi) & ginger are used for treating cough & cold.
* Melon seeds, pumpkin seeds have health benefits like those provided by nuts.
* Turmeric is used for its antiseptic properties and is also supposed to prevent
* Switch from plain salt to iodinated salt!
* Avoid foods which are high in salt!
* Sodium in the salt is harmful. Rock salt (sendha namak) is lower in sodium content but is not iodinated!
* On the whole salt intake needs to be moderated.
* All salt used needs to be iodinated to prevent iodine deficiency induced
goiter (a thyroid problem causing enlargement and sluggish thyroid). People need to switch from plain salt to iodinated salt, to prevent iodine deficiency induced goiter in their generation as well as in the future generations.
* But remember, a high salt intake tends to increase blood pressure which in turn leads to increased risk for coronary heart disease and for stroke.
* Indians on an average consume 10-15 gm of salt in the form of added salt.
Attempt should be made to lower salt intake.
* Based on many clinical trials and observation 5-6 gm/1 tsp (2300 mg of sodium) of daily salt intake is recommended. This should take into account the total added sodium intake from all dietary sources. Even in tropical countries where sodium loss occurs through sweat, studies have shown that extra dietary salt is not needed as sodium homeostasis is maintained by renal conservation of sodium.
- Choose food low in salt (see the sodium/salt content on food labels).
- Cut down the amount of salt added to food which includes addition of rock salt & chat masala.
- Consume potassium rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid packed, preserved & canned foods.
- Other forms of sodium consumption through additives such as
MSG (monosodium glutamate). Cooking soda is also an oxidant
which is harmful.
- Processed foods to be avoided, as they are high in sodium and poor in potassium.
Preparations which are high in salt and need to be used
Pickles, chutneys, sauces and ketchups, papads, chips and salted biscuits, savoury items, cheese and salted butter, canned foods (vegetables, dals & meats), bakery products, ready made soup powders, dried salted fish,