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To Salt? Or Not To Salt?

If I had to choose one thing above anything else that could improve health, it would most definitely be salt. “No..that’s not right”, I hear you say. If I said this five years ago, even I would be skeptical. My pharmacist training told me salt is taboo – it lifts blood pressure and is bad for cardiovascular health in general.

Well, here I stand today with my natural medicine hat on and tell you that this is not true. In fact, the right type of salt in the right amount actually lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, and aids vascular health.

Who would have known?

“So, what is the right type of salt then?” you ask.

Why PINK HIMALAYAN SALT of course!!

Pink Himalayan salt is said to be the most beneficial as well as the cleanest salt available on this planet today. It has all kinds of nutritional and therapeutic properties, not to mention culinary uses. You can also use it to create homemade body scrubs and bath soaks (fabulous to detox), and you may have seen a Himalayan salt lamp (great to purify the air).

Pink Himalayan salt contains sodium chloride and over 82 other minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, iodine, and zinc. The elements found in Himalayan salt cover a wide range of the periodic table,  so it does more than just make your food taste better.

The need in human nutrition for many of the minerals found in Himalayan salt remains unknown, and many of the minerals are found only in minute quantities. In the same manner that vitamins and minerals are perfectly packaged in fruits and vegetables because this salt is naturally formed, the minerals within seem to work in synergy.

Himalayan salt comes from the salt mines 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan Mountain Range which stretches across Asia, passing through China, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and India. The salt from these mines are covered by lava and have experienced tremendous pressure over millions of years,  in addition to being surrounded by snow and ice year round. For these reasons, this salt is said to be over 99% pure, free from modern-day pollution. The many hues of white, pink and red are an indication of this salt’s rich and varying mineral and energy-rich iron content.

Celtic sea salt is comparable to Himalayan salt in its composition and health benefits, but it’s a completely different salt that comes from a different source (Brittany, France), has a different colour (grey) and a different mineral makeup. Either way, both types of salt are very rich in minerals. Personally, I prefer the pink Himalayan salt for its flavour and appearance in cooking (yes..I’m biased!).

“So, why is common table salt the wrong salt?”, your inquiring mind asks. Such a great question.

As mentioned, pink Himalayan salt is one of the purest salts you can find. It’s even typically mined by hand. This is very different from tablet salt that involves a great deal of unnatural interference.

Table salt is very heavily processed and heated at unnecessarily high temperatures, eliminating most additional minerals. Commercial table salt is typically all sodium chloride (97.5% to 99.0%). Meanwhile, a high-quality unrefined salt like pink Himalayan salt is typically 86% sodium chloride, along with 14% additional minerals.

With most table salts, you’re only left with one mineral (sodium), some added iodine (usually synthetic and difficult for your body to process properly) and most often some really health-hazardous anti-clumping agents, like sodium ferrocyanide and talc. These agents prevent salt dissolving within our system, leading to a build-up and then depositing in organs and tissues, causing severe health problems.

Many commercial table salts also undergo a bleaching process and contain aluminium derivatives and other terrible ingredients known to be highly toxic to human health.

Let’s look at why you may want to make the switch to pink Himalayan salt.

– improves respiratory problems such as a dry cough, bronchitis, and asthma (since anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and able to reduce both excessive mucous & IgE allergic reactions) 

– harmonizes acid-alkaline balance (pH)

– balances stomach acid & helps to reduce acid reflux

– improves absorption of nutrients from foods

– stimulates peristalsis of digestive organs

– regulates metabolism

– reduces anxiety & induces better sleep (sodium calms an over-active sympathetic nervous system)

– regulates hydration (inside/outside of cells) & electrolyte balance

– reduces common signs of aging

– encourages healthy blood sugar levels and decreases sugar cravings

– promotes cellular energy creation

– prevents muscle cramping

– lowers incidence of sinus problems and promotes overall sinus health

– improves bone strength

– supports a healthy libido

– promotes good kidney and gallbladder health

– aids proper metabolism functioning

– prevent thyroid goitres

– lowers blood pressure

– improves circulation

– dissolves/eliminates toxins & detoxifies the body from heavy metals

“So how do I take salt as medicine then?” you question.

Simply dissolve 1/4 a teaspoon of finely ground pink Himalayan salt in half a glass of water & drink before each meal to greatly improve stomach acid (commonly low in most people) and to benefit one’s overall health. You could also add a little salt to any other fluids you consume daily (e.g. tea, smoothies, shakes) and definitely use this salt when cooking meals. You can even place a pinch of salt directly on the tongue during times of anxiety or when a dry cough is persistent for quick relief.

Pink Himalayan salt is more beneficial to the body, but as a salt, it’s still naturally high in sodium. So as with any salt, you don’t want to overdo it. Getting too much sodium in the diet (especially with not enough potassium to balance things out) can lead to high blood pressure for some people. It can also lead to a concerning build-up of fluid in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver or kidney disease.

“How much is too much?” you ask. Generally,  two level teaspoons daily is a good amount for well-being. The body will feel satisfied with this amount and not need or crave much more.

Lastly, I would stay away from any Himalayan pink salt that’s sold at too low of a price. This may be a sign that the salt was collected from higher elevations rather from the deeper, more pure salt mines. The salts from these higher levels are more likely to contain impurities, which makes them less health-promoting.

So, instead of skipping salt altogether, why not give it an upgrade?

**If you’ve got this far – thank you for reading and I look forward to bringing you more information in the future.

Now, enjoy some much needed inspirational music…