The truth is, its all about balance people. I have come to the realization that we seem to be on either one extreme or the other when it comes to health. Obviously processed and refined foods contain tons of ‘bad’ salt that can cause your body to swell up like a balloon and will inhibit your ability to release toxins. On the other hand, some health nuts completely remove salt from their diet and drink tons of water. In the case of high water and low salt, we end up with a completely different concern. The water and minerals you are ingesting aren’t actually able to be utilized by your body. That’s where balance comes in. The simplicity of it is that unrefined salt (we’ll talk about what that is in a minute) with all of its trace minerals allows the water you drink to actually go inside the cells and maintain what is called an aqueous balance between the inside and outside of your cells. Hydration then is not about how much water you drink. It is about how able your cells are to accept that water. Without the right amount and type of salt, if you are guzzling water to stay hydrated, the water is either getting stuck outside the cell making you bloated and water logged, or you end up eliminating it all through the urine. Cells need water, but they won’t open their little cellular door to let it inside unless there is a balance of the right trace minerals from the right salt. An eight year study of a New York City hypertensive (high blood pressure) population, followed patients on low sodium diets versus those with a regular sodium intake. The study found that there were more than four times as many heart attacks in the low sodium patients when compared to the regular sodium patients. Dr. Jeff R. Cutler documented no health outcome benefits AT ALL of lower-sodium diets. (Salt Institute, 1995).
Documented benefits of high quality unrefined salt intake:
1. Natural, unprocessed mineral salt has a remarkable healing effect on the human body, especially in the right amounts and in conjunction with an abundant intake of purified water.
2. Even though we have heard for so long that salt is unhealthy, we need to remember that it is actually a vital substance for the survival of all living creatures, particularly humans, and especially people with asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disease. Looking back into the history books, salt has been a primary ‘medication’ used by healers since the beginning of time.
3. We have been taught to eat our fruits and veggies which contain an abundant source of potassium, but remember, we must have a proper balance of sodium AND potassium in order for the proper reactions to take place in our cells. Adding sea vegetables or a small amount of one of the salts mentioned below will ensure your cells are doing their job to keep you processing nutrients and eliminating toxins.
4. Besides regulating the water content in the cells, salt has so many additional benefits. Among these are helping to relieve asthma (by putting a small amount on the tongue and letting it dissolve after drinking a large glass of water). There are a new class of inhalers now that use salt solution only.
5. Salt has the ability to clean out the acidity in the brain which is very helpful with Alzheimer’s (this is where diuretic medications can be very risky). Salt is essential for preserving melatonin and serotonin levels in the brain as well, so it helps a plethora of emotional disorders such as high stress tendencies, anxiety, and depression.
6. In my opinion, salt is essential for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Remember, cancer cells are killed by oxygen. When the salt and water are in a correct balance in the body, salt expands the volume of blood circulation to reach all parts of the body. In this way, the oxygen and the activated immune cells in the blood more easily reach the cancerous tissue and work to destroy it.
7. Salt is also vital for maintaining muscle tone and strength. For example, lack of bladder control in those who have trouble with leakage may be an issue with low salt intake.
So what exactly is the right type of salt? The preferable sources for unrefined, unprocessed, mineral rich salts are Himalayan Pink Salt, Celtic Sea Salt, and Sea Vegetables. Do your due diligence, however, because there are plenty of ‘fakers’ out there.
Also, consuming sodium chloride (typical table salt) is NOT helpful in any way because it is a toxin to your body. This is the same salt used to salt the roads in the winter. If it can dissolve ice like that, imagine what it will do to the inside of your body. Please remember that before making any changes with your salt intake, you must consult with your doctor. We are individuals and do not all react the same way to dietary changes. Be wise with your health!
Some of the information contained in this article has been adapted from Joseph Marcello’s article “The Surprising Scoop of Unrefined Salt”.