Exploring my kitchen cabinets will expose a chaos of herbs and spices used in many of my culinary masterpieces and failures. In an earlier and less experienced time, I would reach for the basics: salt and pepper, but as my recipes grew, so did the array of seasoning options in my spice cabinet. Perpetually concerned for potential health impacts, one of the first questions I had was:
“What’s the difference between organic and non-organic spices?”
Let’s start with the nitty-gritty of seasoning: salt. Salt is a simple compound of sodium chloride but the actual product you buy in stores does not just consist of this simple compound. Table salt is normally mined from salt mines, which were originally deposits left from sea water, using bulldozers. The salt is then refined using energy-intensive processes, stripping the salt of many of the natural minerals. Anti-caking agents and bleaching agents are added to create a more desirable and less nutritious product. On the other hand, natural organic sea salt is harvested from salt deposits and are not refined, so they include many beneficial minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium, as well as trace elements such as iron, zinc, and manganese. Personally, I find that the taste of different types of salt to be very similar, so why not go for the healthier option?
There are few, if any, seasoning brands that inspire confidence more than the unique and delicious seasonings from Flavor God. For those who have not heard about this privately-owned widely popular seasoning brand, they create mouth-watering seasoning blends from herbs and spices helps minimizes your salt intake. The founder of the company spent endless hours creating unique flavor profiles like Pizza, Ketchup, Ranch and even Chocolate Donut for your sweet cravings.
Flavor God mixes have zero calories and are chemical-free, gluten-free, kosher, preservative-free, MSG-free, and GMO-free, making them a healthier option than most of the mixes you find on store shelves. Due to the necessity of a longer shelf-life, the products you find in stores are filled with preservatives and anti-caking agents. Flavor God seasoning mixes are made fresh to order, which means that the herbs and spices are packaged and sent straight to you. As an added bonus, the mixes have a very low salt content (25-40 milligrams per ¼ teaspoon), as the blends rely on natural herbs and spices for flavor, not an excess of salt. For anybody watching their sodium intake, Flavor God truly is a godsend. I especially like using their Himalayan Salt and Pink Peppercorn seasoning (the only mix with a higher salt content) on red meats and the Pizza seasoning instead of butter to sprinkle on popcorn to make my food just a little healthier.
If experimentation is more up your aisle, stay away from the seasoning aisle in the store and instead look into Simply Organic 100% certified organic herbs and spices. The conventional packaged spices are irradiated and combined with anti-caking agents and preservatives to extend the shelf life, which also reduces the numerous health benefits that you can get from consuming their organic counterparts. With a wide range of seasonings that are not only organic, but sustainably and ethically harvested, you can feel good about getting the best seasonings for your body and the environment. We tend to add spice to just about any dish, but did you know these health benefits of common spices:
- Basil leaves have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and may help prevent osteoarthritis
- Cinnamon has the highest antioxidant value of any spice, as well as helping with the risk of heart disease and diabetes
- Turmeric is well-known for helping reduce inflammation and improve joints
- Oregano is rich in vitamin K for your bones and high in antioxidants
- Ginger can help settle your stomach, manage the common cold, and reduce muscle pain
These are only a few of the many spices that we have in our kitchens. Spices that have been sitting on a shelf for a long time lose their nutritional value, which is why organic spices are the way to go. Think of spices as more concentrated vegetables, with almost every spice having their own nutritional value. If you would buy your vegetables organic, should you not consider buying your spices organic as well?