Don’t believe the hype. Cutting out salt does not mean extracting taste from your diet. In fact, with new, creative and smart replacements, you’ll actually gain health bennies in addition to zesty taste. Using these herbs and spices in your cooking is a win-win, to your taste buds and health.

1. Oregano. Don’t underestimate these green flakes. They’re no willy-nilly shake-on-slice-only spice. In one Quarterly Review of Biology study, Cornell University researchers found oregano, along with allspice, garlic and onion, to be the most potent bacteria zappers in the spice rack. Oregano pretty much clobbers all the bad stuff. Next up was thyme, cinnamon, tarragon and cumin, which put to rest a not-too-shabby 80 percent of bacteria. Even white or black pepper, along with anise seed, ginger, celery seed and lemon or lime juice eradicated 25 percent of bacteria. So long, salt.

2. Rosemary. Make it a palatable pleasure when you liberally cover your foods with this savory flavoring. It adds zing to  everything from salmon fillets to salad dressings to roasted chicken and/or potatoes (mmm, we’re imagining the aromas now). This inflammation fighter also contains antioxidants.

3. Basil. This anti-inflammatory herb is a great add for those living with arthritis and is also an excellent source of vitamin A (so add a whopping serving to your pastas during cold-and-flu season). Guess what else? Holy basil is a natural stress reliever, containing plant chemicals that lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Try using it anywhere you’d fling salt, like on those arthritis and heart disease adfries (preferably of the sweet-potato variety). Also try whipping up pesto or adding fresh basil to your iced tea.

4. Cilantro. Si, Senoras, sensational in your salsa, but also a solid addition to any dish you’d typically douse with salt. This power herb is a source of iron, magnesium, and vitamin K, and also a bacteria fighter. What’s more, cilantro contains antioxidants and also has a potential blood-sugar-lowering effect that is currently being studied.

5. Fennel. This licorice-like spice can ease bloating, gas, and other digestive discomfort. It is also said to be particularly effective in reducing heartburn symptoms.

What herbs and spices do You replace salt with?