(Photo illustration by Diane L. Wilson) I have posted this article for Pennywise Platter Thursday @ http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2013/05/pennywise-platter-thursday-59.html#more-7280 Please check it out to see what other bloggers have posted.
Salt is an extremely important element in the human diet; very important source of minerals and nutrients. Today we often hear that salt is not good for us. It has a bad reputation for causing high blood pressure, inflammation; arthritis, and other chronic diseases. What you may not know is that the salt which causes this is refined table salt. The salt we should consume is unrefined sea salt.
Using the Refined-Table Salt
Using refined salt can lead to serious health problems including:
- Arthritis and Inflammation
- High Blood Pressure
- Water retention
- Weight gain
- Muscle cramps
- Electrolyte disturbances
- Neurological problems
- Stroke and cardiovascular disease
One simple change in the diet can be the most effective in treating high blood pressure, arthritis and Inflammation involves simply switching from refined to unrefined salt. This change, of course, means eliminating processed foods.
Not Enough Salt
Modern diets are the cause of fear from salt; as a result, people are consuming less. In studies where humans consumed a diet completely lacking in salt, they developed extreme fatigue and tiredness and lethargy within several weeks. (Get resource here)
- More salt is needed when the body is under stress or excessive exercise.
- Prone to heart failure
- Reduced salt diets often result in digestive problems
- Never use salt replacement, and avoid “low-salt” processed foods because these often contain MSG and artificial flavors that are bad for the nervous system. Instead use as much unrefined salt in your home cooking as needed to give your foods the flavor you desire.
- Always buy products with NO SALT ADDED, unless you know the source is made from healthy sea salt (not all packages that say sea salt is healthy).
Modern Salt Production –Table Salt
- Modern processing of salt starts off with the de-mineralization of all the magnesium and trace minerals removed
- Then bleached.
- Then chemicals are added, including ones that contain aluminum and synthetic iodine since the natural occurring iodine has been removed to be sold as a supplement or added to other industrial products.
- Finally an anti caulking additive is added; such as silica gel, which is a drying agent found in the packaging of electronics, shoes, food and vitamins, and other household items to keep moisture out (you may have seen a package of silica gel in your new shoes, in a little package that reads “DO NOT EAT”). When this is taken into our bodies, the same thing happens; it takes the moisture out, which contributes to the dehydrating effects on the body and health problems from the salt.
- When this process is complete, the salt can no longer combine with the human body, it becomes a foreign substance.
- When salt is refined, the processors then sell the minerals as expensive supplements in health food stores. The best choice is to get our trace minerals from high quality sea salt!
Not All Salt Is Bad
Unrefined salt is what you should be using. Salt should be off white in color; gray, pink, and even black, not white. Natural colors in salt indicate the presence of minerals. Using unrefined salt ensures that we get all the trace minerals we need and is a healthy source of sodium chloride.
Benefits of Un-refined Salt:
- It provides the basis for cellular function in the body
- Helps to absorb essential vitamins and minerals
- Essential for digestion of protein
- Assist in activating enzymes to digest carbohydrates
- Development of brain
- Supports adrenal function; people with adrenal exhaustion need more salt in their diets.
- Development of the brain
- Salt also activates an enzyme needed to help us perform the tasks of higher creative thinking.
- Nursing mothers need to consume more salt to ensure that their babies nervous system develops properly. Babies first foods need a dash of unrefined salt when they start on solid foods.
Unrefined sea salt (salt with natural occurring colors) is more expensive, but it is worth it; one trick is to buy thick salts for cooking, which are cheaper and thinner for sprinkling.
Some of the best kinds of natural salts are:
- Real Salt
- Celtic sea salt
- Himalayan pink salt
- Hawaiian black salt
- Unrefined Salt (that still has mineral colors in it)
Traditional Salt Production
This method involves the simple evaporation of sea water and what is left is salt.
Salt should not be white, it should naturally be off white, pink, grey, black, or other.