Thursday, March 20, 2014

Not All Salt Is Bad…Go Pink!

In general, I do not add a lot of salt to my food. This partially grew out of the fear instilled in me that salt is bad! Salt plays a crucial role in our body’s functions. It is actually our most common source of sodium and chloride ions, neither of which can be produced by the body. Sodium is key to multiple functions, namely regulating fluid volumes, maintaining normal pH, as well as regulating the uptake of nutrients, transmission of nerve cells and helping with muscle contraction. Chloride is also important. Similar to sodium, chloride ions regulate fluid volume and pH, but they also aid in digestion.
But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. As most of you likely know, one of the key risks of too much salt intake is hypertension, or high blood pressure. Like everything else, salt is fine in moderation and a lot has to do with the type of salt you use. Although there is a lot of talk about how table salt which is iodized is beneficial because it a great source of iodine, table salt is highly refined and highly processed. Iodine is a key nutrient, but we can get iodine from other food sources like seafood, brussels sprouts and cabbage.
Processing of the salt does not change the composition of the sodium to chloride ratio, but it does process out other key trace minerals like magnesium, potassium, bromide, etc. When I use salt, my favorite is pink Himalayan salt. It contains a full spectrum of minerals and trace elements; 84 to be exact. In addition to sodium and chloride, Himalayan salt is relatively high in iron, magnesium, phosphorous, calcium and potassium, as well as trace amounts of boron, fluoride, zinc, selenium, copper and even iodine, all of which are crucial to the health of many bodily functions. And more importantly it’s raw and unrefined.
Want a special treat? Take a bath with it. Himalayan salt can be used to help detoxify the body.
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