If you have recently cut salt out of your diet then your cravings may be getting a bit out of hand simply because your body misses it. As one of the main electrolytes maintaining the balance of fluid in your system, your body does need salt, but we all often eat more than we actually need.
Adults should eat no more than 6 grams of salt per day, and the majority of that can already be found in your food, so there's no need to add it to your meals. Although salt is essential for your body to function at its best, too much salt can be bad for your health, and, if large amounts of it are eaten over a long period of time, it can even lead to high blood pressure and cause a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
Next time you are craving salt, try some of these foods; they will satisfy your cravings AND they are a much healthier choice:
1. Throw away the microwave popcorn, and say hello to sunflower seeds
- Image credit: http://www.chineseasparagus.com/
Sunflower seeds are sometimes overlooked, but they really are packed full of health benefits. These include, but aren't limited to, cancer prevention, migraine prevention, and they even promote heart health. They taste great and are a quick and easy snack to reach for when a craving strikes.
2. Step away from the chips, and pick up some pistachio nuts
- Image credit: http://athleticperformancetc.files.wordpress.com/
These are one of the best nuts for your health as they deliver more antioxidants than most other nuts, and, boast health benefits such as improving heart health, skin health, and boosting the immune system. Pistachio nuts will easily satisfy your salt craving, and the fibre content will keep you full until your next meal.
3. Ignore the call from bacon, and reach for some olives
- Image credit: http://www.healthyfoodteam.com/
Although olives are often looked at as a treat, providing you don't eat too many of them, they can actually be very good for you as they promote weight loss, and help to prevent cancer. The healthy fat in olives will fill you up, while the salty taste will keep your craving in check.
4. Get rid of stilton and parmesan, and make some cottage cheese with red bell pepper on whole grain crispbread
- Image credit: http://www.shape.com/
Cottage cheese is high in sodium, but, providing you choose fat-free, it is a much healthier version than the processed alternatives you may otherwise reach for. It is also reported to be very beneficial for weight loss. This snack will satisfy your hunger and your salt craving, without undoing all of your hard work.
5. Put down the Doritos and dip, and pick up some celery with hummus
Image credit: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/
Celery probably isn't the first thing you think of when you're craving salt, but combine it with hummas and you've got a great snack to take your mind off the craving. Celery is loaded with antioxidants, and can even reduce inflammation, and hummus is fairly high in sodium, so will fulfil your craving. So put those crisps down, and take two minutes to make this tasty and refreshing snack. Within seconds you will forget that you even wanted something really salty.
For more articles like this, check out my blog
Picture credit for featured image: http://www.natureandhealth.com.au/