Spicing Up A Kidney-Friendly Diet

Exotic New Flavors to Add to Your Spice Cabinet

Looking for a way to spice up your next meal? Why not give your taste buds a thrill and try some new flavors from around the world.
Spices are one of the longest and earliest trades in all of history. Hunters and gathers are thought to have been the first group to collect and enhance prepared food by using spices to alter its taste.1
As ancient civilizations developed so did the spice trade with records dating as far back as 1000 BC detailing the trade of coins for sought-after spices.1
Ancient Egyptian records also document the belief of health benefits found in the commonly used spices of today including: garlic, thyme, cumin, and coriander.
Today, research continues to evaluate whether there are possible health benefits in certain spices but, regardless of their health affects they remain an important staple in cuisine around the world.
Take an exotic trip right from your kitchen and add some of these exciting flavors into your next dish.

  • Turmeric
    This golden spice comes from the ginger root family and imparts a pepper like smell and warm taste. Its bold color has also been used as a dye, often imparting color to dishes when added. Largely produced in India, today it can be found in other tropical locations but remains a staple in Indian cooking and culture.
  • Star Anise
    Star Anise
    This licorice flavor might not be for everyone but, native to China and Vietnam, this popular ingredient is frequently used to flavor meat dishes, soups, and stocks.
  • Tarragon
    An aromatic herb, tarragon has a robust flavor and is typically added to fish and egg dishes, but can be overpowering or dominating if used too liberally. Tarragon is also one of the main flavoring agents used in Béarnaise sauce.
  • Cardamom
    Native to the forests of southern India, cardamom is a fruit whose seeds are often ground and dried and added to dishes across Asia and Africa. Cardamoms have a highly aromatic flavor and are a staple in curries and somewhat surprisingly, Scandinavian pastries.
  • Harissa
    If you like heat, harissa will quickly become a new favorite. Often described as the condiment of Tunisia, harissa is a type of hot chili paste used to flavor meats or vegetables and is a common topping for dishes like shawarma.
  • Marjoram
    A relative to oregano, marjoram imparts a similar aromatic and citrus type flavor. Native to Cyprus and southern Turkey, marjoram was a symbol of happiness in Greek and Roman times as it was rumored Aphrodite grew and wore a crown of marjoram. Today it is a common ingredient found in salad dressings, stews, and flavoring for a wide variety of meats.
  • Lavender
    You may be thinking lavender is a scent, not a spice, but it is actually part of the mint family, and a native of the Mediterranean. Lavender is most commonly used in fragrances and candles but can be added into cookies or used on lamb or chicken. Lavender is also a part of the popular spice mix Herbes de Provence, often used to season meats.
  • Coriander/Cilantro
    This herb is a crowd pleaser, being featured in dishes from Latin America, India, the Middle East, and even Chinese fare. Native to the Mediterranean and Middle East it is a popular addition to meats, curries, pastries, and even liqueurs. Try adding this mild globetrotting herb to your next cookout.
  • Cinnamon
    Native to Sri Lanka, cinnamon was once more valuable than gold. Once, one of the most profitable spices in the Dutch East India Company trade, it remains a staple in baked goods across the world today. What you might not know is cinnamon is also an important ingredient in many curries and similarly to coriander and lavender, has been used in both liqueurs and perfumes.
  • Cloves
    Until modern times, cloves only grew on a few islands found in Indonesia. Used in Asian, African, and Middle Eastern food, cloves are commonly added to meats, curries, and marinades. Cloves are also a common ingredient found in popular spice blends, like pumpkin pie, and can also be found in sweet dishes.
  • Saffron
    At $500 to $5,000 per pound, saffron is one of the most expensive spices. The thread seen in small bottles at the store come from a flower, grown in what is called the Saffron belt ranging from Spain to India. Today, Iran is the global leader in the saffron trade with almost 95% of all global production. Add this to a seafood broth or mix it into paella to add some bright flavors and color.
  • Sichuan pepper
    Sichuan pepper
    Looking for a whole new experience? Unlike other types of peppers, these unique peppers impart a slight lemon flavor and create a numbing sensation in your mouth. Crush some of the husk, removing the black seeds, and add them to chicken, beef, or the popular oriental dish, Dan Dan noodles.

Please note these spices are only intended to provide you with ideas for ways to spice up your next meal and should not be used as herbal supplements or digested in large quantities. Certain risks may exist if these are consumed as a supplement.

Speak with your doctor and care team to determine if these spices are right for you. You should always follow the dietary and fluid recommendations from your doctor.

  1. Rosengarten Jr, Frederic. "The Book of spices." The Book of Spices. 1969. Primary Source Retrieved from: http://www.mccormickscienceinsti tute.com/resources/history-of-spices. Accessed on: March 27, 2018.