6 Condiments with Healthy Benefits

Certain condiments add more to your meals than flavor -- some condiments actually improve your health.

It’s never a bad idea to hold the mayo if you’re trying to cut calories (and cholesterol) but some condiments can actually improve your health. Now, we aren’t suggesting you start downing gallons of these accoutrements, but you might want to make an effort to gravitate towards these six.

Mustard

Used in ancient times to treat ailments of the kidneys, lungs and digestive system, mustard seed (the main ingredient in mustard) is health food to the max. You can find all kinds of mustard at your local market, but it’s actually well worth it to make your own. Sure, you can use it as a sandwich spread but it’s also a great addition to salad dressings, dipping sauces, marinades for pork and poultry and in this recipe for roasted fish.

Ketchup

Cooked tomato products such as tomato sauce and ketchup contain more of the heart protecting antioxidant lycopene. Not a fan of store-bought ketchup? Make your own.

Salsa

Mix together fresh produce, herbs, vinegar or citrus, plus a sprinkle of salt and you’ve got a vitamin and antioxidant powerhouse. If you’re trying to increase your intake of vegetables (or fruit), eat more salsa.

Honey

Honey boasts natural sweetness complete with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Regular consumption of this sticky sweet treat may also help fight seasonal allergies. The science behind this is a little sketchy, but it certainly can’t hurt to drizzle a little each day. Enjoy with bread, pancakes, teas and cocktails or cook with it in marinades, glazes and sauces and salad dressings.

Bake a batch of muffins with this alternative to sugar.

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

The healthy fats in oils like canola, grapeseed and olive are good for your heart and help you absorb much needed fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Salad dressings can also be used for dips and marinades. As always, for best results, make your own.

Hot Sauce

Big flavor for a teeny tiny amount of calories – it’s time to spice up your life with a dash of hot sauce. Traditionally made from the extracts of chili peppers, it also contains a compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is used in topical creams to relieve pain and may also have antioxidant properties. While spicy foods can slightly rev up your metabolism, don’t rely on hot sauce for weight loss. Stay tuned for our upcoming hot sauce taste test.

Tell Us: What’s your condiment of choice?
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