Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Truth About Salt

Salt is essential for the survival of all living creatures, including us humans!  The bad news is that commonly used table salt is highly refined which makes it extremely unhealthy and toxic. The table salt and cooking salt found in most homes, restaurants, and all processed foods, is empty of any nutritional value. It is lacking in the precious trace minerals that make salt good for us. After processing, salt is basically sodium chloride which is an unnatural chemical.  Commonly sold table salt is composed of 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% other chemicals like iodine and sugar. Table salt is also dried at more than 1,200° Fahrenheit; the excessive heat destroys many of the natural chemical structures that occur naturally in salt. In order for our body to metabolize this chemical table salt, it must waste tremendous amounts of energy to try to keep the body at an optimum fluid balance. This creates an unnecessary burdening of the elimination systems in the body. When we ingest this type of salt, our body cannot dispose of it in a natural, healthy way. This can lead to inflammation of the tissues, water retention and high blood pressure over time. Studies show that for each gram of table salt that your system cannot process, your body will use over twenty times the amount of cellular water to neutralize the sodium chloride in chemically-treated salt. Over-consumption of table salt causes many untold health problems.

What our body really needs is natural pure salt! Natural salt is needed to regulate the water content in our body.  This is the reason that I always use Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Salt in my recipes.

But what about high blood pressure? Yes, it is true that salt causes high blood pressure. However, it is the toxic table salt that is the culprit—not natural salts like Celtic and Himalayan.

Celtic Sea Salt is the naturally moist salt harvested from the Atlantic seawater off the coast of Brittany, France.  This type of salt is harvested using the Celtic method of wooden rakes allowing no metal to touch the salt. It is naturally air and sun-dried in clay ponds and gathered with wooden tools to preserve its living enzymes.  Because it is unrefined, it contains all of the 84 beneficial live elements found in sea water, with no chemical and preservatives nor any other additives. Among the live minerals and trace elements found in Celtic sea salt are iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. The 84 trace minerals provide the necessary nutrients and protect the body from the harshness of sodium chloride that we consume from commercial salt. The appropriate magnesium content ensures that unused sodium is quickly and completely eliminated from the body through the kidneys to prevent harm. Celtic sea salt has tremendous healing virtues that have the exact opposite effects of refined salt.  It helps to balance out and nourish our body with minerals that our body lacks.  Celtic sea salt has been shown to actually normalize blood pressure.

Next up is Himalayan Salt! Himalayan salt is far superior to traditional iodized salt. Himalayan salt is a pure form of salt, untouched by many of the toxins and pollutants that pervade other forms of salt. Himalayan salt contains the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body. There are many health benefits of Himalayan salt. First, it helps control the water levels within the body, regulating them for proper functioning. It also promotes increased absorption capacities of food within the intestinal tract. Choosing to use Himalayan Salt as an alternative can have a big impact on your total health and well-being.

Both Celtic Sea Salt and Himalayan Salt are available in most health food stores. Some larger grocery chains are starting to carry Celtic Salt, but if you can’t find it in your area, there are several online retailers that carry both salts.

If you’re accustomed to using table salt, you’ll notice the difference in taste immediately. Both salts are rich in flavor and you’ll only need to use a fraction in your recipes. Typically I use about half the amount of salt that most recipes call for because a little goes a long way!

Take care and, as always, Bon Appetit!

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