When it comes to salt and whether it is good for you or not, it is so easy to get confused. The government tells us not to eat more than 6g of salt and we are told that it can raise the blood pressure, cause cardiac failure, damage the kidneys, aggravate asthma, and cause kidney stones. We also learn that high sodium intake equals water retention, which causes many weight conscious dieters to eliminate salt from their diet entirely. But sodium is in fact essential to life and there is a big difference between refined and unrefined salt, which has not been altered by a man.
So how is salt refined and why is refined salt quite a useless (apart from taste) element of your diet?
It’s brined in a solution which can include sulfuric acid or chlorine and heated to a point which removes all of its minerals and elements useful to our body (which are sold for use in industry of supplements). However table salt is not just sodium chloride which is what is left after the above described process. It also contains additives that are designed to make it more free-flowing. Ferrocyanide, talc, and silica aluminate are commonly included. For this very reason, I decided to remove refined salt from my cupboard and replace it with unrefined, mineral salt. “These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were origin ally found in the primal ocean from where life originated,” says Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, The Essence of Life. “We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid.” So yes, by all means add unrefined salt to your food but do try and remove / reduce consumption of ready made meals from your diet first as they are full of refined salt..!
Here is why the unrefined salt is so good for you:
1. A low-salt diet increases insulin resistance and even moderate dietary salt restriction is shown to cause systemic insulin resistance – salt aids blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity.
2. Adequate salt consumption actually ENCOURAGES a healthy weight and fast metabolism. Studies show that increased salt intake leads to an increase in the elimination of stress hormone cortisol and lower blood cortisol levels. Imbalanced or excess cortisol means weight gain and a stagnant metabolism.
3. Salt lowers adrenaline spikes. Adrenaline is a necessary and important stress hormone, but it is just that… another stress hormone!
HOW SALT CAN HEAL:
PMS: Mineral-rich salts can help ease PMS in two ways. The muscle-relaxing effects of magnesium combined with potassium, which helps the body get rid of excess water, can ease water retention and relieve muscular tension.
JOINT PROBLEMS: Minerals have an alkalising effect on the body. Natural health practitioners such as Louise Hay have observed that this has an anti-inflammatory effect, easing painful conditions such as arthritis.
BACK PAIN: Whether you eat or bathe in them, mineral-rich salts tend to relax. This is largely due to magnesium, which is needed for muscles to relax. Low levels of magnesium are associated with muscle cramps. Replacing table salt with a good mineral salt could help alleviate these.
BONE STRENGTH: Unrefined rock salts are rich in minerals needed for bone strength. Apart from calcium, bones use phosphorus, magnesium and other minerals as building materials..!
So how much salt can you use? I say use it freely to add taste to your meals but do not go crazy and stay within the recommended less than 6g a day. As mentioned above first and foremost, eat clean and remove ready made meals full of refined salt from your diet. Your body will thank you 🙂