Yes, you read that right. I said the health BENEFITS of salt.
How can I say that? Isn’t salt bad for our health? Doesn’t it cause high blood pressure and other health issues?
I think you can talk about salt being bad for our health the same way you can talk about carbohydrates being bad for our health. Both have numerous necessary nutrients for our bodies, but with the processing of them, most of the beneficial nutrients have been removed and both are overconsumed.
Just like wheat and grains, salt has been given a bad rap. But in ancient times, salt was considered as valuable as gold and salt was used as a form of currency.
Salt has been refined over the years, but why? It doesn’t go bad and in fact, it is a preservative. It contains over 80 minerals and other necessary elements that we need. These things are stripped away in processing, leaving only sodium chloride. And that processing/refining uses high heat and evaporation, plus a lot of chemicals, such as sulfuric acid and chlorine (items that may have harmful effects). The heat changes the molecular structure of salt so it doesn’t readily absorb moisture and then anti-caking agents are added. You probably know that iodine is added to salt to prevent deficiencies. Well, sugar is added as a stabilizer so the added iodine remains in the salt.
Why purify salt?
Many believe white salt is more marketable. And just like refined wheat flour, the “impurities” are considered by-products and are sold to other industries for a big profit.
Sodium Chloride was never meant to be ingested without its complimentary trace minerals. It provides the body with too much sodium. A consequence of consuming too much refined salt causes mineral deficiency, imbalance of intra and extracellular fluids, increased acidity in the body and the onset of chronic disease.
Unrefined salt doesn’t pose these health issues. It actually has remarkable healing properties and can even be the cure to these problems. The trace minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium can help maintain the proper cellular fluid balance, restore proper acidity/alkalinity balance, adrenal function, hormone function, immunity and detoxification.
Be aware there are many marketing words that make you think a salt is unrefined, but it’s not true. Sea salt, himalayan salt doesn’t guarantee that the salt hasn’t been heat treated and refined. It just tells you where it came from.
Real, unrefined salt should have a rusty red color from iron, black specks from manganese, magnesium gives a rosy color.
Don’t just think that eating unrefined salt is going to be a cure-all; you still need to have a discussion with a health professional. As always, moderation is key. Just use the amount of salt you normally use when cooking.
Using real salt with all of its components intact gives you more than just flavor, it gives you nutrients your body needs! I personally love Redmond real salt, both the fine (for general baking/cooking) and the coarse for seasoning meats.