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Salt is essential
for life you cannot live without it.
Salt has been
important to humanity for life on this planet. Even the
word "salary" comes from sal because Romans were paid
European explorers traded an ounce of salt for an ounce of gold
salt was literally worth its weight in gold.
salt is important to many biological processes, including:
- Being a
major component of your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular
fluid, and even amniotic fluid
nutrients into and out of your cells
the lining of your blood vessels to regulate blood pressure
you regulate propagation of nerve impulses
your brain send communication signals to your muscles, so that
you can move on demand (sodium-potassium ion exchange)
the importance of salt it is important to realize that too much
sodium can hurt you, but the same can be said of most things
even oxygen and water.
is far too much sodium in processed foods. But you shouldn't be
eating those foods anyway high sodium is but one of MANY
ingredients in processed foods that will ruin your immune system
and cut your precious life short.
One of the
latest harmful ingredients is methanol. This toxic alcohol poison
is typically in nearly all fresh vegetables and fruits but is bound
to pectin so it does not typically cause problems. But once they
are canned in glass or aluminum the methanol dissociates from the
pectin and can elevate to very high levels and contribute to diseases
getting back to salt, the general question remains is it
As it turns
out, salt is a very general term that can mean many things. All
salts are NOT equal in terms of origin, chemistry, crystal structure,
biological effects or even flavor!
speaking, a salt is simply any ionic compound arising from the joining
of a positively charged ion and a negatively charged ion, so that
the product is electrically neutral.
talk about salt, they are usually referring to refined table salt,
or sodium chloride. But in fact, most minerals are salts, including
magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) and ammonium nitrate (used in fertilizer).
But with typically
edible salts, most people do not realize there are enormous differences
between common, refined table salt and natural, unrefined salt.
One is health
damaging, and the other is healing.
Natural Salt is 85 Percent Sodium Chloride and Processed Salt is
a great deal of processing between the factory and your grocer.
It is approximately 97.5 percent sodium chloride and 2.5 percent
chemicals such as iodine and moisture absorbents, dried at over
1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. This high heat alters the natural chemical
structure of the salt.
unrefined salt is 84 percent sodium chloride and 16 percent other
naturally occurring minerals, including many trace minerals like
silicon, phosphorous and vanadium.
If you want
your body to function properly, you need a balanced salt, complete
with all-natural elements and free of pollutants. I will speak more
about my favorite natural salt a bit later.
point is, today's ordinary table salt has nothing in common with
natural sea salt.
of Table Salt
after ordinary table salt is "chemically cleaned" is sodium chloride,
an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as
something completely foreign. Therefore, when you add more salt
to your already salty Spaghettios, your body receives more salt
than it can dispose of.
salt has independent crystals that are totally isolated from each
other. In order for your body to try to metabolize processed salt,
it must sacrifice tremendous amounts of energy.
chloride in the form of processed salt can keep you from an ideal
fluid balance and can overburden your elimination system.
When your body
tries to isolate the excess salt, water molecules must surround
the sodium chloride to break them up into sodium and chloride ions
before your body can neutralize them. To accomplish this, water
is taken from your cells.
in a less-than-ideal fluid balance within your cells.
of excess sodium chloride your body has to neutralize uses up 23
grams of cellular water. Hence, eating too much common processed
salt will cause fluid to accumulate in your tissues, which contributes
arthritis and gout
- Kidney and
gall bladder stones
will also oftentimes contain potentially dangerous preservatives.
magnesium carbonate, and aluminum hydroxide are often added to improve
salt's "pourability." Aluminum
is a light alloy that deposits into your brain a potential
cause of Alzheimer's disease.
Heart Association has suggested limiting your sodium consumption
to fewer than 1,500 mg per day to decrease your risk for high blood
pressure, stroke and weight gain.
The CDC reports
less than ten percent of adults are meeting this limit, and some
studies have suggested many Americans are consuming more than 7,000
mg of salt per day, which is the equivalent of approximately 3 teaspoons
of table salt.
Journal of Clinical Nutrition considers a product high in sodium
if it contains more than 500 milligrams per 100 gram serving. Similarly,
it considers a product low in sodium if it contains less than 120
milligrams per 100 grams.
The foods highest
in sodium tend to be processed meats, which often contain a whopping
800 mg per 100 gram serving!
makes sense to limit your intake of refined processed salts to these
levels. However, if you are healthy your body should be able to
easily tolerate much higher levels of unprocessed salts.
The only exception
would be for those who have heart failure and are very sensitive
to fluid overload. Those with congestive heart failure (CHF) will
typically be on a number of different drugs to improve cardiac function.
So those with
established CHF should maintain strict sodium restrictions but should
also look into the many effective natural options out there like
ubiquinol which has been shown to be highly effective in improving
those with lowered cardiac ejection fractions.
Processed Foods so Loaded With Sodium?
At one time,
salting was one of the few ways people could preserve foods. Salt
kills bacteria that can cause food to spoil.
between chemical preservatives and refrigeration, salt is added
for other reasons and it's added to processed foods in HUGE
amounts. The reason for this has more to do with the fact that salt
is an inexpensive way to improve the taste of overcooked, bland,
nutrient-butchered carnage in a can that some people call food.
Salt is used
in high amounts in lunchmeats and cheeses to extend shelf life.
Sodium also helps bind ingredients together and acts as a stabilizer.
chloride, sodium is also a component of other ingredients you will
find on your labels, further driving up your sodium level:
- Baking soda
- Sodium benzoate
- Sodium nitrate
- Sodium saccharin
Is Driven More by Excess SUGAR than Excess Salt
While I certainly
agree you should not consume large quantities of refined processed
salt, just switching to low-sodium foods especially those
in a box or a can is not going to get you very far toward
your health goals.
There are other
factors that control fluid and electrolyte balance, blood pressure,
kidney disease, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
one of the greatest revelations of late is the link between fructose
consumption and hypertension. Uric
acid is a byproduct of fructose metabolism, and increased uric
acid levels drive up your blood pressure. The amount of salt people
in this country are consuming pales in comparison to the amount
of fructose they are eating on a daily basis, yet the AMA issues
no warnings about this.
I believe that
sugar/fructose consumption is the major driving force behind our
ever-increasingly elevated blood pressures.
Sodium Be Too LOW?
Yes it can!
You may not
be aware of this, but you have an increased risk for health
problems if your sodium is too low (hyponatremia). For example:
- A 2009 study
of large-bone fractures in the elderly found the incidence of
hyponatremia in patients with fractures was MORE THAN DOUBLE that
of non-fracture patients. They postulated the reason for the sodium
deficiency might have been the use of selective serotonin receptor
inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressant drugs.
- A 1995 study
by the AMA published in the journal Hypertension found
low urinary sodium associated with an increased risk of heart
mood and appetite are among the first noticeable manifestations
of sodium deficiency, since salt
is a natural antidepressant.
And the preponderance
of evidence proves that sodium
intake does NOT affect blood pressure unless you are especially
Nature Intended It: Himalayan Crystal Salt
The more you
can move toward a diet of whole
foods in their natural state, the healthier you'll be
whether it's veggies, meat, dairy products, or salt. If you are
a protein type, you will need more salt than your fellow carbohydrate
salt is absolutely essential to good health, I highly recommend
switching to my favorite unrefined salt, an
all-natural source from the Himalayas.
This salt is
very special it is completely pure, having spent many thousands
of years maturing under extreme tectonic pressure, far away from
exposure to impurities, so it isn't polluted with the heavy metals
and industrial toxins of today. And it's minimally processed
hand-mined and hand-washed.
contains 84 trace minerals from our prehistoric seas, and its crystalline
structure actually stores vibrational
energy, which is restorative to your body.
salt from the Himalayas does not burden your body as refined salts
It is very
difficult for your body to absorb too much crystal salt since there
are effective feedback loops that regulate this process. Natural
crystal salt always promotes a healthful balance and does not contribute
to high blood pressure like refined table salt.
And it's the
most delicious salt you'll ever find!
Not only is
Himalayan salt nutritionally beneficial and delicious, but it also
has several great healing applications when used topically:
- Bath Soak:
As a "brine bath," it is stimulating and even moisturizing to
your skin, as well as detoxifying. Use a 1 percent concentration,
which is equal to your natural body fluids (add about 2.6 pounds
of salt to an average tub of water). Soak for 15 to 20 minutes,
and do not shower off just blot with a towel.
- Salt Sole:
Sole simply means a supersaturated saltwater solution (about 8
percent salt), and with this you can treat a number of skin conditions,
including itching and rashes.
- Sinus Flush:
Mix with pure water in a neti pot a 1 percent solution (normal
saline) with warm water for a beneficial sinus or allergy treatment;
use 1 gram per 100ml (one-fifth teaspoon in 3.34 ounces lukewarm
- Eye rinse:
The same 1 percent solution rejuvenates tired or irritated eyes.
- Throat gargle:
To treat a cold or sore throat, gargle with a 1 percent saltwater
solution (but don't swallow).
2010 Dr. Joseph Mercola