Salt 26 August 2009
Salt is sodium chloride and is a life-sustaining element. It is essential in the nutrition and physiological processes of all animals including man. There are repeated references in records since they have been first kept about the importance of salt in the daily diet. Salt has always been essential to human life. It is more precious to men than gold.
Originally salt was obtained by boiling and evaporating the ash from seaweed. Later it was discovered that when seawater was evaporated by the sun, salt was left behind. Hence the development of salt production, a technique which is still used today.
Our bodies contain almost 450gms of salt and each day we need to replenish the salt used by our bodies to maintain health. Salt is involved in:
- cellular energy production. Energy can only be transported through a matrix of salt. No salt = no energy.
- nerve transmission, particularly in the brain
- muscular contraction (including heart muscle)
- prevention of muscle cramps
- cleansing cells of toxic waste products of metabolism
- balancing the amount of water that is inside and outside cells
- regulating blood pressure and heart beat
- provision of multiple colloidal minerals to the body (healthy salt contains about 80 trace minerals as well as sodium and chloride)
- bone strength
- good sleep
- erection strength, libido and fertility
- reduction of sugar cravings
- prevention of varicose veins
- production of sodium bicarbonate to alkalinise the body (NaCl + H2O + CO2 becomes NaHCO3 + HCl). NaHCO3 is sodium bicarbonate which is crucial for alkalising the body while HCL is hydrochloric acid, the toxic waste product of bicarbonate production. In fact salt is so important for alkalising the body, that when the body becomes too acidic, the body retains salt and water to neutralise the acidity- hence oedema. Oedema (excessive fluid retention) is therefore caused by excessive tissue acidity, not excessive salt. The consumption of alkaline, energised water will therefore decrease the oedema gradually.
- natural anti-histamine effects
- prevention of adrenal stress
- skin hydration and the prevention of wrinkles
A balance between salt and water is crucial for proper functioning of every cell in the body. Sugar cravings are frequently the bodies cries for salt, not sugar and will go away after consuming a small amount of salt.
Salt has unfortunately developed an unwarranted bad reputation. It is not the salt which is the problem but the acidic, processed food it comes with. People eating a healthy, predominantly alkaline, unprocessed diet containing alkalising vegetables, fruits and lean protein will always have a requirement for extra salt. In fact, salt is essential in making sodium bicarbonate to neutralise the constant production of acid from our metabolisms constant need for energy. It’s one of the neutralisers of our bodies pollution.
A paper in the April 2007 edition of the British Medical Journal found that “people who ate less salty food were found to have a 25% lower risk of cardiac arrest or stroke, and a 20 per cent lower risk of premature death.” Note that it was salty food that was the problem, not salt. If you eat a lot of salty chips, wrapped in bread full of salt which is covered in high salt butter then how on earth can the salt be blamed? Talk about guilty by association. This is why previous research focusing on just reducing added table salt has not been effective in reducing blood pressure. A review of 56 trials published in the May 1996 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a low salt diet had a minimal effect on blood pressure in most people. Systolic blood pressure was lowered by an average of 3.7mmHg and diastolic by 0.9mmHg. The well known National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) I, III and IV all found that lower salt intakes were associated with higher blood pressures than high salt intakes. The NHANES researchers concluded that “our analysis confirms that inadequate mineral intake (magnesium, potassium and calcium) is the dietary pattern that is the best predictor of elevated blood pressure. Dr David Brownstein in his book, “Salt Your Way to Health” writes that “the idea that lowering salt consumption would help improve high blood pressure was adopted by the medical community without any substantial studies verifying that this idea was valid.”
In fact there may be health risks from low salt diets. A study published in the journal Hypertension volume 25, June 1995 reviewed nearly 3000 people with high blood pressure and found those with the lowest salt intake had a 430% increased risk of heart attack compared with those who had the highest intake. A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 1993 found that people on low salt diets had elevated insulin levels. High insulin levels are associated with diabetes, cancer, polycystic ovaries and obesity.
As usual, the type of salt consumed is very important. Table salt is so processed that it has almost no nutritional value and no electrical potential (it has no electron energy). Some varieties also contain aluminium anti-caking products. Table salt is bleached to obtain the white colour. Table/refined salt is therefore an unnatural, lifeless substance in the body. Sea salt is much better but there are concerns over mercury levels in some brands. The only salt recommended and used by clinicians at the Emerson Health and Wellness Centre is called pHlavor liquid salt and is obtained from the pure inland sea water of Utahs Great Salt Lake. It contains over 80 ionic and trace minerals (refined table salt only contains 2- sodium and chloride). The mineral content means that pHlavor salt is alkalising in the body while refined salt is acidifying. Unlike other salts it is obtained by filtration and heat by sunlight rather than from heating at extreme temperatures. This preserves its structure and nutritional value. pHlavor liquid salt is available from the Emerson Health and Wellness Centre.
You can also check the quality of your salt by mixing a spoonful of your salt into a glass of water and leaving it overnight. If salt has collected at the bottom of the glass then it has been processed and will not dissolve in the body either. Any substance that won’t dissolve in the body will eventually become lodged in tissues leading to heart disease and calcified arteries. Natural salt will do the opposite- improve the health of the vascular system.
Excessive salt is excreted by the kidneys so people with kidney failure should be cautious about their salt intake. People without kidney failure should aim to consume a quarter tsp of pHlavor salt for every liter of water drunk.