In today’s society, salt is considered a detriment to human health, but it has not always had this stigma. In fact, Ancient Romans were paid in salt, thus the word “salary.” Salt was also worth its weight in gold to African and European explorers. This naturally occurring substance was so highly prized simply because living organisms cannot survive without it.
In its purest form, unrefined natural salt is important for many bodily functions. It helps create critical body fluids, such as blood plasma and lymphatic fluid, carry nutrients to cells, regulate blood pressure and nerve impulses and is a factor in allowing your brain to communicate with your muscles so you can move.
Science has even discovered that changes in mood and appetite are signs of sodium deficiency, because salt is a natural antidepressant.
So why has salt been demonized by modern society?
Just like water, oxygen and other elements necessary for life, too much of a good thing is not a good thing. And salt is no exception. When you over consume the mineral, your body has a hard time disposing of the excess.
And today’s processed foods make it very easy to get too much salt in our diets. Packaged foods are loaded with sodium because it is an inexpensive way to improve the taste of overcooked foods and create a very long shelf life.
But it is not just the amount of salt that is the culprit. The kind of salt you eat is also be important.
Processed Salt vs. Natural Sea Salt
Using the wrong kind of salt is probably the biggest factor in salts’ link to health problems. Most consumers don’t realize that ordinary table salt is highly processed with chemicals, or as the salt industry refers to it “chemically cleaned.” This process leaves behind sodium chloride, an unnatural chemical form of salt that the body doesn’t recognize. Processed salt can affect your fluid balance and tax your elimination system.
Processed salt is about 97.5 percent sodium chloride and 2.5 percent chemicals such as iodine and moisture absorbents. After being dried at more than 1,200 degrees F, the extreme heat changes the salts natural chemical structure. Eating too much of this type of salt will cause fluid retention, which can contribute to cellulite, arthritis, gout, and kidney and gall bladder stones.
By contrast, unrefined salt in the form of hand-mined, hand-washed sea salt, such as pure Himalayan salt, which is thousands of years old, is 84 percent sodium chloride and 16 percent minerals. This type of natural salt also contains important trace minerals like silicon, phosphorous and vanadium.
Salt and Hypertension (High blood Pressure)
While salt has been highly linked to high blood pressure, Dr. Joseph Mercola, a proponent of natural health and nutrition, believes hypertension is driven more by excess sugar than excess salt.
On his website, mercola.com, he states: “The preponderance of evidence proves that sodium intake does not affect blood pressure unless you are especially sodium-sensitive.”
Knowing the facts about salt could mean the difference between healing and harming your body.
Bloomberg News www.bloomberg.com/news/