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What to Use Instead of Salt: 6 Health-Boosting Herbs

6 Health-Boosting Herbs
By Emily Listfield, PARADE

Given the recent news that bread beats chips as Americans' biggest salt source, you may now think twice before diving into that bread basket. 

But if you don't want to ban bread while trying to trim your salt intake, consider cutting it from other places in your diet. Here's a roundup of herbs and spices to try in salt's place during your next meal — which have been shown to help lower blood pressure, ease arthritis, and even slow the growth of some cancer cells.

Studies by the University of Arizona College of Medicine show that curcumin, the active ingredient in this Indian spice, helps prevent joint inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Research by Rutgers University indicates that turmeric may slow the growth of malignant cells in people with prostate cancer. Early animal studies show that it may also slow the growth of breast-cancer cells.

This leafy green herb deserves to be more than just a garnish. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, parsley is rich in flavonoids, which may help to protect cells from cancer. It's also a good source of vitamin C and iron.

A recent University of Georgia study suggests that sage can help prevent tissue damage caused by high blood-sugar levels and may even offer some protection against cardiovascular disease.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day can help lower cholesterol. It may also reduce the high blood-sugar levels that can lead to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. And some research suggests that cinnamon can slow the proliferation of cancerous cells in patients with leukemia.

Scientists at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, Calif., have found that carnosic acid, the active ingredient in rosemary, can help protect brain cells from the normal aging process and from damage caused by the free radicals that lead to Alz-heimer's. It's also a good source of calcium and iron.

Ginger has been used for thousands of years to treat gastrointestinal problems. Your mother probably even gave you ginger ale for an upset stomach. Numerous studies have shown that ginger does in fact help to alleviate nausea associated with motion sickness. Small doses may also ease morning sickness. And now research from the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that ginger may reduce nausea induced by chemotherapy. Patients who took a half-teaspoon of it a day experienced up to a 40% reduction in symptoms.

What to Use Instead of Salt: 6 Health-Boosting Herbs


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