As I mentioned in my most recent blog post, sodium has many health benefits, such as having a positive effect on the body’s pH level (which we know is extremely important for overall health) and improving our respiratory system. We also learned that sodium is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
In addition, sodium has another important role. In EVERY cell in the human body, there is a sodium-potassium pump. This sodium-potassium pump is responsible for the processing of nutrition inside the cell and for providing the body with energy.
When the body (and the blood) becomes too acidic, the acidity interferes with the effectiveness of the sodium-potassium pump. This happens because the cells in the body try to “take in” some of the acidity to help the body deal with it. To make room, the cells are forced to expel minerals. As a result, sodium and potassium are lost.
Consuming sodium regularly in our diet allows the body to constantly replenish sodium if and when it is lost. Without sodium, the body cannot efficiently process nutrition and provide the body with energy. However, eating a diet rich in sodium (as well as using Himalayan and sea salt) will help the body with these two important tasks.
Cooking With Salt (Sodium Chloride)
Chemically speaking, all salt is Sodium Chloride (NaCl). This includes the commonly used processed salts as well as pure, unrefined salts such as Himalayan and sea salt.
When you cook with salt (sodium chloride), the heat causes the chloride to evaporate. However, the sodium does not evaporate and you are left with pure sodium. When sodium is separated from its natural component (chloride), there is an imbalance in the body. Because the chloride has evaporated, the body now has to supply its own chloride.
If you remember back to my blog post about macro-minerals and trace minerals, you probably remember that chloride is one of the seven macro-minerals. This means the body needs chloride in large quantities. The body cannot afford to supply chloride each time we consume salt, counteracting the imbalance between the sodium and chloride.
What this means is that we should be extremely careful when cooking with salt. It is best to add salt to your food after it has already been cooked. This will prevent the chloride from evaporating.
Natural sodium is vitally important for our health, as it is used in EVERY cell in the human body! Not only that but it is one of our greatest defenses against an acidic body (and all disease LOVES acidity).
But not only do we need to be consuming sodium, we also need to be consuming the right kind of sodium: first and foremost, sodium that comes from our soil and is found in vegetables. Vegetables that are high in sodium include (but not limited to) artichokes, beets and beet greens, celery, sweet potatoes, spinach, turnips and seaweed.
In addition, salt that comes from real salt deposits is extremely beneficial for our health. These include pink Himalayan salt and pure sea salt. It is important to stay away from iodized table salt – this kind of “salt” is processed, chemical induced and bleached and is not really salt at all.
Lastly, we need to remember how to cook with salt (or, more importantly, how to not cook with salt). All forms of salt (yes, even Himalayan and sea salt) are, chemically speaking, Sodium Chloride. When we cook with salt, the chloride evaporates and we are left with sodium. This causes an imbalance in the body and therefore, the body is forced to provide the chloride.
To see whether you are mineral deficient, overly acidic, or to explore other areas of your health, such as digestive, respiratory and circulatory issues, schedule a live blood cell screening TODAY!
“In order to have good health, we must have good blood; for the blood is the current of life."
As I discussed in my most recent blog post, iodized table salt is not a healthy form of sodium/salt. However, there is a healthy choice – organic sodium, which comes from natural food sources (primarily vegetables). As we know, sodium is a mineral, which comes from the soil and is found in natural, organically grown produce.
Below are several great food sources of natural, organic sodium:
Of course, we know that our soil and food supply is extremely depleted of necessary minerals, and therefore, we often need to supplement with minerals and other nutrients. The good news here is that you can purchase a pure, unprocessed and unbleached form of salt to sprinkle on your food.
One of the purest forms of salt you can find is pink Himalayan salt. Pink Himalayan salt comes from salt mines 5,000 feet below the Himalayan Mountain Range. While common table salt is incredibly processed, lacking in minerals, bleached and loaded with chemicals, pink Himalayan salt is believed to be 99% pure!
Himalayan salt is generally pink, but can be white and/or red as well. The unique color of Himalayan salt as well as the color variations is a sign of the large amount of trace minerals and electrolytes found in Himalayan salt. Many Himalayan salt companies claim there are up to 84 different minerals in Himalayan salt – it is known for sure there are at least 60 different trace minerals (minerals that your body needs in small quantities as compared to macro-minerals, which are needed in large quantities) and electrolytes!
In addition to Himalayan salt, there are other natural forms of salt, such as Celtic sea salt. Celtic sea salt comes from Brittany, France, is grayish in color and is also rich in necessary minerals.
So, what are the real benefits of consuming Himalayan or sea salt?
First and foremost, natural Himalayan and sea salt can help to balance the body’s pH level. Because salt is rich in sodium as well as other electrolytes, it has a direct effect on the body’s pH.
As I addressed in a recent blog post (The Connection Between Minerals and pH Balance: http://www.cellharmony.net/blog), life does not exist when the pH of the blood deviates from 7.4. When the body is overly acidic, it will do whatever is necessary to become alkaline. This often means pulling calcium from the bones and other alkaline minerals, including sodium, from the body to compensate for the acidity.
In addition, Himalayan and sea salt are known to be very beneficial for our respiratory system. They loosen up excessive mucus and aid the body in clearing away mucus. These natural salts clear pathogens in the air, such as pollen, and are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Believe it or not, sodium is one of the minerals that is most important for optimal function of the human body.
But I’m not talking about the kind of sodium your doctors tell you to stay away from – the kind of sodium/salt used in processed and packaged foods, store bought table salt and salt used in restaurants. I’m talking about natural, organic sodium. This kind of sodium is a mineral, which comes from the soil (as well as salt deposits) and is found in natural, organically grown produce.
Before I tell you about the beneficial forms of sodium (and salt), I first want to fill you in on why these store bought, processed salts are detrimental to our health.
It was back in the 1920’s that salt first became “iodized.” This means very simply that food companies began adding the trace mineral iodine to salt. They originally started doing this because there was a very high incidence of iodine deficiency disorders, and especially goiter. Goiter is a condition caused by a malfunctioning thyroid gland and iodine is the primary nutrient or “fuel” used by the thyroid gland.
When iodine was added to salt, there was a huge improvement in the number of disorders caused by an iodine deficiency. The large number of goiter incidences began to drop and iodized salt became the standard!
If iodine is a necessary trace mineral, then why is iodized salt so bad?
Unfortunately, the iodized table salt we buy at the store, use at a restaurant and that comes in processed foods is not a natural form of salt. In the 1920’s, standard cooking salt came from the sea or other natural salt deposits. However, since that time, the manufacturing of salt has changed. Companies have come up with more cost effective ways to harvest salt and no longer depend on getting salt from its natural sources.
Iodized table salt (cooking salt) used today has many synthetic chemicals added to it. These chemicals include manufactured forms of iodine, sodium solo-co-aluminate, fluoride sodium bicarbonate, anti-caking agents, aluminum derivatives and toxic amounts of potassium iodide. In addition, iodized table salt is also bleached to make it white.
When purchasing salt at the store, be sure to stay away from any product that claims to be iodized. If it is iodized, you know it is processed! In addition, stay away from any form of salt that is white. Natural, organic salt found in nature is never a pure white color.
Stay tuned to what I have coming next: the benefits of consuming natural sodium/salt as well as natural sources of these beneficial minerals!
Elizabeth Shepard, BS
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