Let’s talk about salt shall we?
Salt is SO critical to life, that without it, we would cease to live. That’s kind of a big deal! There seems to be many conflicting opinions and misinformation out there when it comes to salt. I thought I’d help clear up the issue today with a few must know facts about this commonly used condiment.
Iodized Salt vs. Sea Salt vs. Himalayan Salt
First, you need to know that there are various types of salt and signficant differences between each of them. I’m going to address the most popular 3 types used in our kitchens today.
- Iodized Salt aka Table salt
- Iodized salt is the white salt you find sitting on most tables in the US. This type of salt has been refined and stripped of all of its essential trace minerals. Once this happens, anticaking agents are added, and in most parts of the world, artificial iodine is added. Your table salt is actually 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals. It is then dried at over 1,2000 degrees Fahrenheit, this crazy high temperature alters the natural chemical structure of the salt rendering it basically useless for any nutritional benefit.
- This is the type of salt that can cause increased blood pressure, inflammation, water retention, and all the negative side effects we have heard of related to salt.
- Sea Salt
- Sea salt comes naturally from the sea. This is what makes ocean water taste “salty”. When extracted naturally, without being refined, sea salt is full of beneficial minerals and nutrients that can be very healing for the body in numerous ways.
- Himalayan Salt
- This pink salt comes from the Himalayan mountains in Pakistan. Awareness about Himalayan salt has significantly increased in the past few years as more people learn about the nutrient density of this powerful salt. Himalayan salt contains all 84 of the body’s essential minerals! Wow, right? It is incredibly nourishing for the adrenal glands (aka your hormones), thyroid, pH levels, digestion, muscle regeneration, bone health, and basically every system in the body. You can read more here in Dr. Mercola’s article- http://products.mercola.com/himalayan-salt/
Now, let’s take a look at some health conditions related to salt…
Salt & Blood Pressure
- If you go to the cardiologist, or if you have elevated blood pressure, you will always be put on a sodium restricted diet. This is because regular table salt and sodium found in processed foods, causes you to retain water and makes the work much harder on your heart, therefore increasing your blood pressure even more. Himalayan salt or authentic sea salt, however does not have the same effects. Proper mineral balance actually helps maintain healthy fluid levels in the body. Even more, the heart is a muscle. Muscles need minerals and magnesium to function properly. Many times heart palpitations can be attributed to a magnesium or mineral deficiency. Using a good Himalayan salt to restore the body’s mineral balance can actually be helpful for the heart!
Salt & Hormones
- You’re probably thinking…what the heck does salt have to do with hormones?? Well my friend, let me tell you! One hormonal gland in particular that benefits from good quality salts such as Himalayan salt, is the adrenal glands. There are significant structures within the hormonal system pivotal to hormonal balance. The adrenal glands and thyroid gland are two of those esential glands. Mineral rich salts nourish the adrenal glands and enhance function. These days, nearly every American is struggling with insufficiently functioning adrenal glands. Any type of stress, big or small, good or bad strains the adrenal glands, and unfortunately we are surrounded with chronic stressors. When our adrenal glands are not functioning properly, our thyroid function suffers as well as the rest of our body. Common symptoms of adrenal and thyroid fatigue include weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, inflammation, lack of drive for life, depression, hormonal imbalances such as PCOS, infertility, PMS, low libido, and more.
Salt & Heartburn/Acid Reflux
Did you know consuming healthy salts can actually help rebuild healthy stomach acid necessary for proper digestion? Here’s how… your stomach acid is called Hydrochloric acid or HCL. The main cause of acid reflux or heart burn interestingly enough, usually isn’t an overproduction of stomach acid, but an UNDERPRODUCTION of stomach acid. When you don’t have enough HCL, your food does not digest properly, and this causes the pressure and burning sensation you feel. Himalayan salt is high in chloride and essential minerals that dramatically help to replenish HCL levels in the stomach. It’s that easy! Use it in your food, and if your heartburn is really bad, I recommend drinking some salt water by mixing 1 tsp himalayan salt with 1-2 cups of warm water. Apple cider vinegar is also a great remedy for heartburn FYI.
So, go get yourself some pink himalayan salt and start reaping all of these amazing benefits! You can find this salt at most grocery stores and for sure at any health food store.
Make it an awesome day!!
RN & Health Coach