BONUS GIFT worth $22 with every GoodnessMe Box 6 Monthly Box today!

How to Find the Healthiest Natural Spices in Australia

Spices are a fantastic way to boost the flavour and nutritional benefits of any meal. The different spices each bring their own taste and nutritional properties to a dish. They can be so much fun to get creative with and a brilliant way to make healthy eating even more delicious. We’ve all heard that variety is important for the health of our gut and spices are one way to help us boost the number of different foods we consume across the week.

As a nutritionist, I’m often recommending that people add spices whenever they can. It’s worth having a solid spice collection that you can use to season your meals. Whether it’s the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric, the blood sugar balancing properties of cinnamon or the digestive support of ginger, there’s so much more than just flavour that we can gain from spices.

 

What makes it difficult to find healthy spice mixes in the supermarket?

Many of the spice mixes available in the supermarkets contain added sugars, fillers, preservatives and flavours, which often makes it hard to find a healthy option. When buying spices, you would think that spices are what you’d get. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case! Rather than championing the naturally delicious taste and flavour of real food spices, some brands add artificial flavours, flavour enhancers and sugar. Often this is because they’ve added tasteless fillers to bulk up the mix, so to compensate on flavour they need to add in sweeteners or artificial sources. Other ingredients you’ll often see on the label of supermarket spice mixes are highly refined preservatives, anti-caking agents or even vegetable oils. These all veer off from our real food philosophy and are better to be avoided.

  

Ingredients we like to see in a healthy spice mix:

Pure spices are the only ingredients we like to see in a spice mix! Paprika, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, chilli, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg and any other spices that are the real deal. Products also get bonus points when they contain organic spices.

When we’re looking at a spice sprinkle on the other hand, we like to see nutrient dense foods among the spices. Take the Mt Elephant Seriously Smokin Sprinkle for example, it utilises herbs and spices, alongside the amazing benefits of hemp seeds. We love that it combines the delicious flavours from the spices, with the boost of protein and healthy fats from the seeds.

GoodnessMe

What are the healthiest spice mixes available?

When it comes to healthy spice mixes, we’re lucky to see more entering the market. Mingle is one of our favourite brands for spices because they use all real ingredients. Made up of just spices, there’s none of the other nasties in sight. This allows us to get more of the benefits and flavours from the pure spice ingredients.

 

Here are some of the healthiest spice mixes on the market:

Mingle All Purpose Seasoning

GoodnessMe Shop

Ingredients: Garlic, Onion, Cumin, Sweet Paprika, Coriander, Black Pepper, Mustard Seeds, Pink Himalayan Salt, Thyme, Roasted Chilli Powder, Oregano, Basil, Parsley.

 

Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M

NO NASTY SEASONING

I absolutely love using herbs and spices in cooking. You can not only receive amazing medicinal benefits, but you can take the simplest dish and make it flavoursome and delicious. I love using the Mingle seasonings on roast veggies, eggs, meat, as well as in other dishes. The best part about Mingle is unlike other seasonings that line the supermarket shelves, these seasonings are natural with no nasties, preservatives or sugar added in. I absolutely love using herbs and spices in cooking. You can not only receive amazing medicinal benefits, but you can take the simplest dish and make it flavoursome and delicious. I love using the Mingle seasonings on roast veggies, eggs, meat, as well as in other dishes. The best part about Mingle is unlike other seasonings that line the supermarket shelves, these seasonings are natural with no nasties, preservatives or sugar added in.

 

Mingle Red Curry Blend

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Paprika, Garlic, Ginger, Onion, Lemongrass, Coriander, Pink Himalayan Salt, Cumin, Galangal, Tamarind, White Pepper, Coriander Leaf, Basil, Chilli, Star Anise.

 

Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M

CLEAN AND DELICIOUS SEASONING

I absolutely love using herbs and spices in cooking. You can not only receive amazing medicinal benefits, but you can take the simplest dish and make it flavoursome and delicious. This Red Curry blend is so flavoursome, add it to your red curry dish for a quick and delicious spice up. The best part about Mingle is unlike other seasonings that line the supermarket shelves, these seasonings are natural with no nasties, preservatives or sugar added in.

 

Bragg Seasoning Organic Sprinkle 24 Herb & Spices

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Rosemary*, Minced Onion*, Minced Garlic*, Granulated Onion*, Granulated Garlic*, Thyme*, Granulated Red Bell Pepper*, Dried Carrot*, Dried Tomato*, Black Pepper*, Basil*, Extra Virgin Olive Oil*,Dried Parsley*, Dried Tarragon*, Dehydrated Lemon Peel*, Dehydrated Orange Peel*, Apple Cider Vinegar*, Celery Seed*, Dill Seed*, Oregano*, Savory*, Sage*, Ground Ginger*, Coriander*, Bay Leaf*, Turmeric*. * Organic Ingredients


Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M.

SALT FREE SEASONING

This Bragg Seasoning Organic Sprinkle 24 Herb & Spices is such a yummy seasoning to add to any meal. Unlike many other seasonings that line the supermarket shelves, this one is free from nasties such as preservatives and flavours and instead is full of delicious herbs. It is also salt free so if you are needing to watch you salt and potassium intake this is a great option.
The herbs add a range of health benefits and nutrients to ones diet including antioxidants, vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, magnesium and iodine. Add this seasoning to your favourite dishes such as soups and stews or even to flavour up your roast vegetables and favourite protein such as meat, poultry, fish or tofu.

 

Mingle Butter Chicken Blend

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Ginger, Paprika, Cinnamon, Coriander, Nutmeg, Clove, Pink Himalayan Salt, Cumin, Cardamom, Fennel, Fenugreek, Black Pepper, Chilli.

 

Nutritionist Review: By Shahna S

THE BEST BUTTER CHICKEN SPICE BLEND

This butter chicken spice blend from Mingle is miles ahead of other products of its kind! Made up entirely of spices (real foods) it doesn't contain any of the nasty fillers, sweeteners, preservatives and additives other spice blends tend to have. This makes it naturally delicious and a much healthier option!
Many other butter chicken blends also contain dairy, another great thing about this blend is that it's completely dairy free and great for all dietary requirements.
You may hear butter chicken and think that can't be healthy... but this spice mix allows you to create a healthy version of the popular dish!

 

Mingle Garlic & Herb Spice Blend

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Garlic, Coriander Powder, Onion, Black Pepper, Pink Himalayan Salt, Thyme, Roasted Chilli Powder, Basil, Mustard Seeds, Smoked Paprika, Parsley.

 

Nutritionist Review: By Malissa F

FLAVOUR EXPLOSION

Adding herbs and spices to your foods is the best way to take them to the next level when it comes to flavour and deliciousness! Herbs and spices are incredibly healing, anti-inflammatory and full of nutrients. So not only will they add flavour but will also add a heap of nutritional goodness to your meals. These Mingle seasonings are made with all natural and real ingredients and do not contain any fillers or unnecessary fillers, preservatives or artificial flavours. Mingle is a brand that you can trust.

 

Mingle Green Curry Blend

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Ginger, Paprika, Cinnamon, Coriander, Nutmeg, Clove, Pink Himalayan Salt, Cumin, Cardamom, Fennel, Fenugreek, Black Pepper, Chilli.


Nutritionist Review: By Shahna S

LOOK NO FURTHER THAN THIS HEALTHY GREEN CURRY BLEND

Another winner of a seasoning from Mingle! This green curry blend is made up of just herbs and spices, without any fillers or additives in the mix. Spices are little powerhouse ingredients and while they're all rich in polyphenols, they each bring their own additional benefits. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon is said to help stabilise blood sugar levels, coriander has more benefits than I can list here, paprika has antioxidant compounds and fennel can support healthy digestion. That's just listing a few benefits from a small portion of the ingredients inside. Plus the delicious flavour, this sounds like a winner of a green curry mix to me.

 

Mingle Spicy Mexican Spice Blend

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Garlic, Kashmiri Chilli, Cumin, Onion, Sweet Paprika, Black Pepper, Pink Himalayan Salt, Oregano, Parsley.


Nutritionist Review: By Shahna S

CLEAN MEXICAN SEASONING

Typical Mexican spice mixes are a serial offender when it comes to added sugars and preservatives. Thankfully that’s not the case with mingle though! Made up of real spices and free from fillers, flavours and other additives, it’s a real no-brainer. Spices each have their own benefits, but something that most of them have in common is their antioxidant content. This Spicy Mexican Style Blend from Mingle is one for the chilli loves. The perfect way to add a kick to your dishes and take the flavour to another level.

 

Mingle Hearty Stroganoff Blend

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Onion, Garlic, Paprika, Pink Himalayan Salt, Pepper, Parsley.


Nutritionist Review: By Shelley M

CLEAN SEASONING

I absolutely love using herbs and spices in cooking. You can not only receive amazing medicinal benefits, but you can take the simplest dish and make it flavoursome and delicious. I love adding this Hearty Stroganoff to the slow cooker with other ingredients to make a quick and yummy dish. The best part about Mingle is unlike other seasonings that line the supermarket shelves, these seasonings are natural with no nasties, preservatives or sugar added in.

What to look for in the nutritional panel of a spice mix:

You can probably tell from the start of this post that before looking at the nutrition panel, it’s important to check the ingredients list of a spice mix. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s made up of pure spices, you can look at the nutrition panel, particularly at the sugar and sodium columns.

Take a look at the sugar per 100g to get a percentage value of how much sugar that product contains. The sugars should be coming from naturally occurring sources, rather than having an added sugars on the ingredients list. Ideally the sugar content should be under or around the 5% mark (5g per 100g). If it’s a little bit more (up to 10%), that’s okay, but more than that and that product more than likely has added sugars inside.

Another thing to look into is the sodium content of a spice mix. According to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, the recommended daily salt intake for adults is 2,000mg or less. To help us stay under this amount, it’s ideal to opt for seasonings with less than 200mg per serve. The lower the better, however some will have a slightly higher salt (and therefore sodium) content, and this simply means you can use less than the recommended serving size for that particular mix or seasoning. Keep in mind that the type of salt used matters too. Sea salt and Himalayan rock salt are much less processed than a classic table salt and therefore retain more of their mineral content. We’re always better off going for products with those less refined types of salt when possible.

 

Using the Mingle All Purpose Seasoning as an example, let’s check out the sugar and sodium content as described above.

Mingle All Purpose Seasoning

GoodnessMe Shop


Ingredients: Garlic, Onion, Cumin, Sweet Paprika, Coriander, Black Pepper, Mustard Seeds, Pink Himalayan Salt, Thyme, Roasted Chilli Powder, Oregano, Basil, Parsley.

 

Nutrition Panel:

GoodnessME

From an ingredient perspective, this is the perfect example of just vegetables, spices, herbs and salt. All the real ingredients and none of the nasties. Looking at the nutrition panel, we can see that this product contains just 4.6% sugar, all of which are from naturally occurring sources. The sodium content is 99mg per serve, which is reasonable for a spice mix and very low compared to many of the supermarket spice mix options.

 

How to read the ingredient list on your spice mix:

Ingredients must be listed in order from most to least, so the closer to the start of the ingredients list it is, the more of that ingredient that mix contains. When reading an ingredients list for a spice mix, simply look for real food ingredients that you understand and would have in your spice cabinet.

 

How to spot hidden ingredients in spice mixes

Since spice mixes should be just spices, herbs, salt and vegetable powders, it’s easy to spot hidden ingredients because they don’t fall under any of those categories.

Added sugar and sweeteners can be hidden under a variety of different names. For example, glucose, sucrose, dextrose, fructose are a few of the main culprits.
 

What are fillers and why should we avoid them in spice mixes?

Food fillers are ingredients that are added to foods to bulk them up while keeping the cost down. They are generally nutritionally void or highly refined ingredients that don’t contribute any benefit towards the end product. We buy spice mixes for the amazing flavour and nutritional benefits that they’re able to bring to a dish, so there’s no use in having diluted mixes that have fillers to bulk them up. Common fillers used in spice mixes include rice flour, maize starch and maltodextrin. It’s recommended to avoid mixes with these ingredients and choose the ones made up of just spices instead.

 

What does an unhealthy spice mix look like?

An unhealthy spice mix contains only a small percentage of spices, added sugar, fillers and other additives. Here’s an example of one for reference:

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Sugar, Maize Flour, Salt, Garlic (8%), Paprika (7%), Cumin, Tomato (6%), Onion, Food Acid (Citric Acid), Oregano, Chili, Anticaking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Colour (Paprika Extract), Ground Bay Leaves

It can be seen that the first ingredient in this product is sugar, making up 33.2% of the blend. That’s a lot of sugar for something that’s supposed to be a spice mix! The second ingredient is maize starch which is a highly refined ingredient made originally from corn. This is generally used as a filler, to bulk up the mix. We can see that at least 21% of this mix is made up of actual spices, but that’s not a lot when you’re buying something that should be predominantly spices.

 

What else should you consider when choosing a healthy spice mix?

Once you’ve considered the ingredients and verified they’re real spices, another thing to take into consideration is flavour. What is the flavour profile that you’re going for with that particular meal? Are you going for a Mexican vibe, where a product containing cumin and paprika will be your answer. Or, maybe you’d like to add a spicy kick by adding some chilli to the mix. If it’s a natural sweetness you’re after, a blend with cinnamon will be your friend. There’s so much you can do with spices and each brings its own unique flavour. Spice mixes are a great way to have these already blended for optimal taste.

 

Our top 3 spice mix products to avoid and why:

Nandos Peri Peri Rub

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Sugar, Salt, Paprika, Tomato Powder, Dried Onion, Dried Garlic (4.5%), Black Pepper, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid), Parsley, Rapeseed Oil, Ground Coriander Seed, Oregano, Ground African Bird's Eye Chilli, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Anti-Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Nutmeg, Colour (Paprika Oleoresins).
 
48% sugar is a huge red flag for this one. Let alone the rapeseed oil and anti-caking agent it contains. Rapeseed oil is also known as canola oil and can have an inflammatory effect on the body, so it’s better to avoid it.

 

Old El Paso Fajita Spice Mix

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Sugar, Rice Flour, Capsicum (12.5%), Soy Sauce Powder (Soy Sauce, Maltodextrin, Salt), Salt, Onion (6%), Paprika (6%), Garlic, Oregano, Parsley, Food Acid (Citric Acid), Vegetable Oil, Black Pepper, Natural Smoke Flavour, Anti Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Cayenne Pepper
 
Made up of one quarter sugar (25.8% to be exact) this one also uses rice flour as a filler and contains maltodextrin, vegetable oil and anti-caking agent, it’s a no from us!

 

Old El Paso Mexican Taco Spice Mix

GoodnessMe

Ingredients: Sugar, Maize Flour, Salt, Garlic (8%), Paprika (7%), Cumin, Tomato (6%), Onion, Food Acid (Citric Acid), Oregano, Chili, Anticaking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Colour (Paprika Extract), Ground Bay Leaves.

This taco mix is one third sugar and contains highly refined ingredients like maize flour and anti-caking agent. It’s not our kind of product when there’s so many better real food options.

 

So, there you have it, everything you need to know to find the healthiest natural spices in Australia! Keeping spices in your cabinet is a brilliant way to flavour meals, increase variety in your diet and gain the benefits of each spice. Using spices and spice mixes to season your dishes also helps you reduce your salt intake because you’re not relying on just salt and pepper as your seasoning of choice.
 

*****

mingle-natural-seasoning-blend-green-curry-12x30g

mingle-natural-seasoning-blends-spicy-mexican-50g

mingle-natural-seasoning-blend-hearty-stroganoff-12x30g

mingle-natural-seasoning-blends-garlic-herb-50g

mingle-natural-seasoning-blend-red-curry-12x30g

mingle-natural-seasoning-blends-all-purpose-50g

mingle-natural-seasoning-blend-butter-chicken-12x30g

#####


About the author:

GoodnessMe

Shahna Sarpi is a qualified nutritionist that is on a mission to help people live a nourished life through real food and healthy habits. She loves simplifying food labels and helping people make healthier food choices. Shahna is passionate about spreading the real food message and supporting people in living a healthy life.

back to top