Who ever heard of a hot dog without mustard?
I don’t think I’d be able to enjoy my food nearly as much without the aid of condiments. Maybe that speaks poorly of me, but hey, I dare you to tell me mustard isn’t awesome. The problem with commercial condiments, though, is that they’re usually pumped up with chemicals and sweeteners. The reason ketchup is as popular as it is in the world is because most store-bought bottles of the stuff have a lot of added sugar. The obvious solution is to make your own condiments, but that can be really expensive and time consuming. The more realistic solution is to opt for healthier variations of your favorite condiments. You’ll find that there are a lot of natural condiments at the store that taste almost identical, or even better.
For ketchup, you should buy organic varieties without added sugar. I actually like unsweetened ketchup more than the regular stuff; it has a pleasantly tart taste I can’t get enough of. And when you cut down on the chemicals, you regain some health benefits of tomatoes like antioxidants.
While we’re on the subject of the famous condiments, if you want mustard, you should opt for spicy brown. Spicy brown mustard has a higher concentration of actual mustard seeds, which are generally good for your metabolism.
In fact, spicy stuff is just generally good for you. Things like horseradish and sriracha possess powerful antioxidants, plus the spiciness is actually good for your respiratory system. Just make sure not to overdo it on the heat, especially if you suffer from acid reflux.
The unquestioned king of natural condiments, however, would definitely have to be pesto. The garlic and basil in pesto have anti-microbial properties that can help your microbiome, as well as, you guessed it, antioxidants. Pesto is better when made from scratch, but if you’re only cooking for one or two people, it’s a little more economical to just buy a little jar of it. Most store bought pestos go pretty easy on the additives, so it should be fine.