Eating more grains, like this barley soup, is one way to help ensure proper nutrients.

In a recent post, we explored the importance of healthy cooking every day. Things like avoiding high-sodium food and controlling your intake of fatty foods can make a huge difference to your personal well-being. This is done not just by preventing ailments like certain cancers and cardiovascular disease but also by helping ensure proper wound healing. That advice only scratches the surface, though, and there are a slew of other pointers to help you cook the tastiest and health-friendly food.

Consider these four extra tips the next time you’re in the kitchen:

1. Replace your creamy sauces

If you’re a fan of anything with cream – like macaroni for instance – you may not realize these sauces are packed with butter and cheese. And too much of these can prove to be bad for your cholesterol and blood pressure. Luckily, you can still make a creamy sauce simply by combining flour with low-fat milk. Just hit the mixture of a medium heat and enjoy.

2. Eat more spicy foods 
Some people can’t handle the spice of chili peppers, hot sauce or even curry. However, these spicy foods actually have some health benefits, thanks to a special compound called capsaicin. While it’s normally the cause of the burning or tingling we experience upon eating these foods, capsaicin can also help you control your feelings of hunger, and that can prevent needless over-eating.

3. Try some dried herbs

If you don’t want to add more spice to your diet, why not try more herbs? Not only can they replace oil and salt in terms of flavor, but herbs are jam-packed with healthy minerals and other compounds. Just be aware that these herbs can be delicate as they cook, so be careful when you add them into your dishes like mustards, soups and vinegar. For even more flavorful herbs, try any of the dried varieties.

4. Don’t forget the grains
Not enough people work grains into their daily diet, and they’re missing out. Grains can be a great addition, especially if you’re dealing with high cholesterol, want to lose weight or are struggling with a gluten intolerance. Some of the best grains include wild rice, quinoa, rice flour and rye, among others. They’re packed with vitamins like B6 and vitamin E, which can better regulate your body’s internal systems.

It’s important to speak with your physician before making any noticeable changes to your diet. He or she can help you understand these new additions and how they can better serve your nutritional needs.

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