The common table salt that you find in your regular eateries or in your grocer’s aisle is really just a facsimile of real salt- rock, crystal, or sea salts. Table salt may taste similarly to these salts, but the effects on the body are pernicious by way of the super high processing involved in creating table salt. Natural salt on the other hand is so delicious and has many health benefits as I’ll detail shortly.
What exactly is table salt? It is 97%-99% sodium chloride with additives: iodine (iodized salt contains dextrose-a sugar-to stabilize the iodine), fluoride, anti-caking agents, potentially toxic amounts of potassium iodide and aluminium derivatives. Essentially, all salt comes from a deposit that is created when salt water evaporates, or is mined as rock salt (dried-up remains of prehistoric seas). The difference between true sea salt and table salt is the processing. Table salt is heated to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit which destroys the mineral balance. (1)
Further, don’t let the marketing verbiage about added iodine impress you- natural iodine is lost in the manufacturing process and because the thyroid suffers without iodine, the salt industry adds synthetic iodine to the finished product. Lastly, salt is not naturally white, but bleached to attain that color. (2)
Wikipedia explains that, “large quantities of sodium chloride [refined salt] are used in many industrial processes, and it is a major source of sodium and chlorine compounds used as feedstocks for further chemical syntheses.” And ThoughtCo. calls table salt “one of the most common household chemicals.”
When one thinks of the proverbial doctor’s advice to “limit one’s salt intake,” remember that this relates to table salt’s deleterious effects on the body:
- Rise in blood pressure due to the body’s attempt to rapidly remove toxins away from the heart
- major kidney, thyroid and liver problems
- development of goiters, asedema, hypertension, heart disease, strained elimination systems, muscle cramps, water retention, edema, stroke, heart failure
- nervous system disorders such as anxiety and depression
- upsets the delicate balance of the lymph system
- highly addictive
On the other hand…
Living the good (salt) life
When it comes to salt, there are so many delicious varieties- from the all-out daily Himalayan sea salt to the extravagant Hawaiian Alaea sea salt mixed with a red volcanic clay. If types of salt are interesting to you, I encourage you to look at this fascinating list of edible salts.
Salt is a beautiful and necessary mineral. It’s an important element in keeping the proper mineral balance in practically all of the earth’s living creatures. –Dr. Edward Group
With over 80 minerals and trace elements, the right salt in the right amount is actually very good for your health (but as with any salt, you don’t want to overdo it). Here are some benefits:
- Improves respiratory problems
- Regulates water levels within the body
- Maintains healthy blood sugar levels
- Promotes cellular energy creation
- Reduces cramping (leg cramps)
- Improves the absorption of nutrients from foods
- Aids vascular health
- Lowers the incidence of sinus problems and promoting overall sinus health
- Provides circulatory support
- Improves bone strength
- Promotes kidney and gallbladder health in comparison to chemically treated table salt (3)
More good (and surprising) reasons to love salt can be found here. So what is your favorite salt?
Pretty pink Himalayan salt, French grey salts, black lava salt, smoked or seasoned?