Spicing up our lives has always been one of goals of humans and probably more so for Baby Boomers! Our lives have been filled with hard work but also lots of experiences that have seasoned our lives with joy and feelings of being fully alive. While we can refuse to be “senior citizens” with tasteless lives, staying fully alive as we age often requires adjustments to our lifestyle and diet.
One of this country’s ongoing dietary challenges is controlling our salt intake. Medical experts generally agree that our sodium intake is very low … less than 500 mg a day. The average intake in the US is well over 300 mg a day which is where things get problematic for some of us. Sodium is essential for our bodies to perform many essential bodily functions. But too much is risky … causing high blood pressure, potential kidney and even brain damage and often makes our blood vessels sluggish.
Salt is great tasting - a “pinch of salt” enhances the flavor of food. WE LOVE IT but we don’t need salt shakers on our tables if we implement some easy … and tasty options. We have some suggestions on how you can reduce your sodium intake for a healthier you.
- Eat at home where you can control your sodium intake. Most restaurant foods contain unbelievable amounts of sodium. Make cooking the meal a “family” experience and enjoy it with a glass of wine.
- Shop smart when grocery shopping and walk the outside perimeter of the store. Stock up on those “one ingredient items” where you control how to enhance the flavor.
- USE that “pinch of salt” you crave and enhance everything with other natural flavors. Remember the outside of the grocery aisle? You will find all kinds of great fruits and herbs that make everything taste wonderful.
Those outside aisle things include things like garlic, ginger and lemons and oranges for zesting. Then there is parsley, thyme, oregano, bay leaf … the list goes on. Sadly, most of us are still a bit unsure about what to do with those so we walk on by. But in most cases, they can be diced and added as raw flavor enhancements or you can saute’ them first and add them later. It is simple! And FUN.
There is one important aisle to walk on the inside of the grocery store. You will need some good olive oil and some good varieties of vinegars to use while you cook.
Keep it spicy … keep it salty … keep it fun! But sluggish blood vessels are for someone else and sodium intake is one way to keep it that way.