Did you know herbs offer numerous health benefits in addition to increasing flavor in foods and beverages? In contrast, eating too much sodium (which is a mineral that’s found in salt) can raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, our bodies do require a small amount of sodium each day for vital functions like contracting and relaxing muscles. However, most Americans consume far more than is needed. According to the American Heart Association, over 70% of the sodium we eat is from packaged, prepared, and restaurant foods. This means that it isn’t just coming from our salt shakers (although an estimated 11% of the sodium we eat does come from the salt we add in while cooking or while food is on our plates).
So, what can you do to reduce your sodium intake? Try buying low-sodium food options at the grocery store, tasting your food before deciding to add salt, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables (which are naturally salt-free), and using herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of salt.