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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