Spice up your meal times

05 August 2016
Colourful spices at a market

Herbs and spices are great for your taste buds, and they can also help you enjoy a healthier diet. So spice up your meal times today with my tips and easy recipes.

How herbs and spices can help your health

If you want to enjoy healthy food without giving up flavour then look no further than your spice rack. Instead of using sauces, dressings and spreads, which can be high in salt, sugar and calories, go for herbs and spices. They are calorie-free and so simple to use.

Adding herbs and spices can really help you to eat more healthily, and this is not just a theory. In one scientific study, when herbs and spices were added to reduced-fat foods, people liked them just as much as the high-fat version.

In another study, people were able to reduce their salt intake to healthier levels by using more herbs and spices. This is important because most of us eat too much salt. To keep blood pressure down, and protect your heart and circulation, the average adult shouldn’t have more than 6 grams of salt per day. That is just one teaspoon, and the total includes the salt in everyday foods like bread and cereal, not just the salt we add in cooking.

Herbs and spices

Less salt, more flavour

There’s no need to feel deprived though. Instead of thinking about having less salt, think about having more variety. By adding the concentrated flavours found in herbs and spices, you can transform foods that might seem boring and bland on their own. So if you’re ready to spice things up, here are a few ideas to get you started.


Cut back on sugar by adding cinnamon to your porridge. Or whisk it into a smoothie with fruit and yoghurt. Nutmeg is another spice you can use to help tame your sweet tooth.

A stick of cinnamon being grated on a plate


Make your own summery salad dressing and perk it up with some grated ginger. You could use a pinch of curry powder or turmeric to liven up your chicken salad.

Salad in a bowel


Before cooking, marinate your meat or chicken in a blend of rosemary and olive oil. And give broccoli a kick by adding some garlic and chilli flakes.

Cooked chicken with rosemary


Make your own ice cream or frozen yoghurt and add fresh mint for a cool and refreshing twist. Or for a hint of sophistication, add basil.

Mint ice cream 

It’s super convenient

Dried herbs and spices are ready to use, and fresh herbs require very little preparation. So they are a super convenient way to add variety to your meals and snacks. Give it a try and you’ll be making your own healthier creations in no time.

 Do you know how healthy you truly are? Bupa health assessments give you a clear overview of your health. You’ll receive a personalised lifestyle action plan with health goals to reach for a healthier, happier you. 

Dietitian at Bupa UK

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