What If There Is Another Truth about Sea Salt?
Contrary to popular opinion which demonizes its use, adequate salt in your diet is imperative for good health. As Dr. James DiNicolantonio, Cardiovascular Research Scientist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, author/co-author of over 200 medical publications, and Associate Editor of British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) Open Heart states in his groundbreaking book, The Salt Fix:
We cry salt, we sweat salt, and the cells in our bodies are bathed in salty fluids. Without salt we would not be able to live. Salt is needed to maintain the optimal amount of blood in our bodies; it’s even needed by the heart to pump blood throughout our bodies. Salt is essential for digestion, cell-to-cell communication, bone formation and strength, and prevention of dehydration. Sodium is also critical to reproduction, the proper functioning of cells and muscles, and the optimal transmission of nerve impulses to and from organs such as the heart and brain.
Our History with Salt
Our ancestors lived near the ocean or waterways that connected to the ocean. So, they were exposed to the benefits of saltwater in their environment daily and were quite expert at using salt for food preservation, rinsing out wounds, etc. As mankind evolved and moved further inland, humans continued to hunt and gather foods like sea vegetables, fish and shellfish, Tiger nuts, and offal. Eating these foods helped regulate our ancestors salt levels. To a great degree, fear of the effects of salt is a very modern development. In order to understand how these fears developed and whether they are based on sound science, Dr. DiNicolantonio reviewed hundreds of studies on salt intake and realized that the “three countries with the lowest rate of death due to coronary disease in the world (Japan, France, and South Korea) all eat a very high-salt diet.” Additionally, he also found that many of these high-salt-eating countries have very long life expectancies, including Japan, which has the longest life expectancy in the world.
The Problem with Salt Restriction
One final insight from Dr. DiNicolantonio describes why salt restriction may not contribute to good health: We know that low-salt diets seem to cause your fat cells to become resistant to the effects of insulin, which in turn increases the level of glucose in the blood and causes oxidative stress, inflammation, and damage to your arteries, as well as further insulin resistance. It’s a vicious cycle of internal starvation. Doctors have known for decades that giving people diuretics, which help the body get rid of salt, can also promote insulin resistance and diabetes. Well, when you restrict your salt intake, you are essentially deriving the same detrimental physiological effects as if you were placed on a diuretic medication.
Sea Salt Is Your Friend
Now that we have established viable alternative information for you to consider about salt in general, let’s consider why sea salt is your friend.
What is Sea Salt?Sea salt is a type of salt produced from the evaporation of current seawater. The evaporation is accomplished by either open-air solar evaporation or by a quicker vacuum evaporation process. Some of the pricier sea salts available today often come from the slower sun-fueled evaporation method. When you eat a sea salt that has experienced very little processing, you have a salt that contains health-promoting trace minerals. It also has natural flavors and colors that make it a lot tastier and more interesting to use for cooking as well as homemade beauty products.
What Are the Benefits of Using Sea Salt?
- Prevents dehydration
- Balances sodium/potassium levels which balance body fluids
- Is rich in trace minerals
- Promotes electrolyte balance
- Supports digestive health and nutrient absorption
- Maintains optimal blood level
- Promotes cell-to-cell communication
- Promotes nervous and muscular system health
How Should I Use Sea Salt?
We suggest that you dissolve your sea salt in water so that the trace minerals in the sea salt are ionized nicely, which helps them get into your cells. If you sprinkle sea salt on your food, then it's not in a water solution. It doesn't ionize down into the mineral state. You end up just getting a bunch of sodium. So, you really do have to put your salt in water.
How Much Sea Salt Should I Use?
As we advise above, we tie the use of sea salt to hydration. That’s why we recommend that you drink half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water with ¼ tsp of sea salt in every 32 oz/liter of water you drink. For example, if you weigh 128 lbs., then you would drink 64 oz of water (2 quarts/liters) with ½ tsp of sea salt in that 64 oz of water (or ¼ tsp in each of the quarts/liters).