Spring is shortly upon us! To celebrate, we’ve found 3 terrific ingredients for you to sprinkle into your next meal...
...and what better combo is there than salt-paprika-ginger?
Though tasty, it’s easy to exceed a teaspoon of salt, the recommended daily amount (1). Salt contains sodium, a compound that we need and that works with potassium to keep optimal fluid levels in the body (2). When we get too much sodium (and too little potassium) in our diets though, we may, over time, develop higher risks of cardiovascular diseases (3).
To avoid this, the general approach is to keep salt levels low and get more potassium—the recommended daily amount for the latter is 4700 mg for the average adult (good sources include vegetables) (3,4,5). That said, those living with kidney disease must be mindful of potassium intake (6).
You might be wondering: What alternatives are there to boost the taste of food—with low/no salt? According to a study, listening to loud noises (basically airplane cabin sounds) can boost perceptions of umami—the “savoury” taste (7). So, perhaps simulating a cabin experience just might help make your food “taste” more flavourful (even with minimal salt). Alternatively, as a 2015 BBC piece and a 2022 journal article reassure us, monosodium glutamate (MSG)—which contains 3 times less sodium than table salt—is actually a safe, good option (8,9).
Find salt—kept to a minimum—in these True NOSH products:
- XOXO Sauce
- First Base Hot Sauce
- Second Base Hot Sauce
- Third Base Hot Sauce
- Home Run Hot Sauce
- Blueberry Compote
- Tomato Compote
- Goji Granola
- Granola Power Bites
Paprika contains high levels of carotenoids, primarily capsanthin (as well as zeaxanthin and beta-carotene) (10). Overall, these have anti-tumour properties, are positively linked to bone health and brain function, and help protect the eyes (11,12,13,14).
Paprika also comes in different colours. Red paprika contains lots of capsanthin, recently found promising for treating glaucoma (15,16). Meanwhile, orange paprika contains lots of zeaxanthin, which protects cells from UV light and may therefore help prevent cataracts (15,17). So, sprinkle in different kinds of paprika to diversify your nutrient intake!
Ultimately, whatever the nutrient, consider optimizing your carotenoid absorption from paprika altogether. Adding avocados or avocado oil (also a great source of potassium for counteracting the sodium from earlier) or eating with eggs may help boost that absorption (18,19,20).
Find paprika in these True NOSH products:
Ginger may help protect against autoimmune diseases like lupus—and has been shown to help alleviate vomiting and motion sickness (21,22,23). In fact, just 0.5 or 1.0 grams of ginger can greatly help reduce nausea (24). It also contains many nutrients, such as potassium (!), vitamin C, and iron (24,25).
If you decide to prepare ginger in water-based environments, remember that valuable nutrients like vitamin B3 and B6 may leach away, as they are water-soluble (25,26). So, avoid decanting those liquids down the drain! Also, to optimize for ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties, heating it to 125°C for ~1 hour is recommended (27).
When cooking foods containing beta-carotene, adding ginger may greatly elevate your body’s absorption of this nutrient, as it did for rodents at an increase by 98% (wow!) (28). These beta-carotene-containing foods include sweet potatoes, carrots, and, from earlier, paprika (29,30).
Find ginger in these True NOSH products:
Spice up your spring and beyond by adding these ingredients!
By Shawn Chang