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Sideline Salt With Heart Healthy Herbs & Spices

By |2024-03-19T12:05:41-04:00March 8th, 2024|Categories: Healthy Aging|Tags: |

Research is ongoing about the specific health benefits of herbs, according to CentraState registered dietitian Caryn Alter, MS, RD. But she notes that both herbs and spices can help you slash sodium by adding a burst of flavor to your meals.

Replacing salt with flavorful herbs and spices can help reduce your risk for high blood pressure. Use aromatic basil and zesty cilantro to add depth. Enjoy turmeric’s tang and anti-inflammatory benefits – half a teaspoon adds a peppery, warm flavor to beans, rice, whole grains and even eggs. Roast with rosemary and sprinkle oregano for a Mediterranean-style meal. These ingredients also spice up salads, soups or stir-fries.

So, put down the saltshaker and pick up the herbs and spices – your taste buds and blood pressure will thank you.

Try This Recipe: Lentils and Pasta

This simple, savory pasta dish seasoned with warm spices is a favorite of Caryn Alter, MS, RD, a CentraState registered dietitian and healthy cooking expert. The lentils and pasta recipe contains a tasty power-packed trio: turmeric to help reduce inflammation, cumin to aid digestion and antioxidant-rich garlic to assist in fighting free radicals, the enemies of healthy aging.

This is a great meal to enjoy with your family or friends.


  • 55 minutes (45 minutes to cook and 10 minutes to prep)


  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 3 cups water
  • 15 ounces diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1/2 cup lentils (dry, rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup orzo
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (fresh, chopped)


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in water, diced tomatoes with juice, lentils, cumin, turmeric, and red pepper flakes if desired.
  3. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Add pasta and cook uncovered until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Source: Medline Plus


Looking for other ways to take control of your health and well-being? CentraState’s LIVE LIFE WELL℠ program can help with education and support to live your best life, no matter where you are on the health spectrum. Visit LIVE LIFE WELL to learn more.

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