Most people already know that too much salt can be detrimental to vascular health, but I do believe that the fear is a bit overstated. Salt is very important in the body and I would not discourage its consumption... UNLESS you indulge in the typical "SAD" diet, or "Standard American Diet." You know, french fries and burgers, processed foods, or anything not made at home. I would suggest not adding even more salt to these synthetically crystallized piles of plastic. Instead, I'd like to emphasize cooking all your own food from scratch. THEN you can add salt at the table.
But moreover, I'd like to share the interestingly delightful news regarding that other shaker. The pepper. Load it on, and you're on the path to good health.
Black Pepper is chalk-full of antioxidants that are incredibly protective. Antioxidants fight free radicals which derive from oxidation. Oxidation is caused by smoking, poor food choices, and toxicity. Oxidation of cholesterol is what causes atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in the heart and arteries. By eliminating free radicals with antioxidants, we can protect and serve our vascular system.
So why else would we add it to foods, tinctures, teas and other herbal compounds? Black pepper actually INCREASES the bioavailability of other compounds and improves the medicinal value of nutrients, herbs and supplements. By promoting rapid absorption, those elements are not destroyed by improper enzymes and toxins.
Black pepper is also an immunomodulator, boosting the immune sytem. As mentioned before, white blood cells are enhanced and thus our line of defense against bacteria, viruses, etc. is more efficient.
Another benefit of black pepper is its anti-cancer properties. Piperine, the alkaloid in black pepper providing its pungent flavor, inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines produced by tumor cells. It interferes with the signaling of cancer cells and inhibits proliferation, thus shortening its progression and working toward prevention.
So give it a dash!