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Salt: A Small Pinch With A Big Impact On Health

16/05/2022

Salt is good for you. You need it – in fact, it’s essential; it’s the one food you must consume for without it, you would die.  And… it’s possible you may not be consuming enough of it.

We’re walking oceans.

All 3 of our bodily fluid systems – blood, extra-cellular fluid and lymphatic fluid – are salty, awash with sodium chloride. This salt in our waters synchronises all of our bodily fluid levels and functions in multiple ways supporting:  nerve and muscle function, digestion, the movement of water and nutrients in and out of our cells, blood pressure regulation and the function of blood vessels and other membranes.

OUR THOUGHTS ARE MADE OF SALT

As Mark Bitterman remarks in his brilliant salt manifesto Salted, even our thoughts are made of salt.   Sodium keeps our brain neurons functioning by constantly maintaining optimal levels of potassium and sodium inside and outside of the neuron membrane. The influx and efflux of sodium and potassium ions is called the action potential of the neuron and makes up the electrical activity of your brain and the rest of your nervous system.

So there you go. And the chloride element is essential to neurotransmitter function in the brain. You can’t even think without salt.

There’s a lot more to this elemental mineral than meets the eye.

YOUR SMART BODY

Your body has its own internal salt-meter and is smart at prioritising your salt levels, keeping your metabolism well balanced. Sodium doesn’t work alone, however. It needs to be in a delicately balanced ratio to a number of other minerals.  For instance, to stay well hydrated, your body needs to maintain a balanced ratio between sodium and potassium; too much sodium and your body starts to retain water. That’s when potassium steps in to balance things out.

A balanced ratio between sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium is required to prevents muscle weakness and cramping, especially during exercise.

Sodium is an electrolyte (a substance that conducts electricity) and helps to regulate the flow of water found inside and surrounding your cells which is critical for a healthy nervous system. Sodium is necessary for the electrical conduction required for the sending and receiving of nerve signals. In short, without salt, you wouldn’t even be able to send a signal to move a muscle.

THE CURIOUS LINK BETWEEN COFFEE AND SALT

According to James DiNicolantonio, Pharm.D, author of The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong — and How Eating More Might Save Your Life, it’s actually quite difficult to consume dangerous amounts of salt because any excess sodium is eliminated via the kidneys in a healthy person. However it is possible we could be eating too little salt and therefore risk being deficient in this essential mineral. 

Did you know that drinking your favourite morning beverage will rapidly deplete your salt levels?  Four cups of coffee in a day will easily expel more than one teaspoon of salt in your urine within four hours. You will also lose significant amounts of salt through sweating, or by drinking excessive amounts of water especially while exercising.  If you’re on a low-salt diet, you may be losing a lot more than you’re putting back into your body.

HIGH SALT CONSUMPTION AND LONGEVITY

Historically, we’re eating a lot less salt than our ancestors, as salt was a primary form of food preservation before refrigeration.  And even today, both the Japanese and South Koreans, whose life expectancies are among the longest in the world, also consume the highest amounts of salt.

TABLE SALT VS UNREFINED SALT – IS THERE REALLY A DIFFERENCE?

When it comes to salt, it’s not the quantity you consume you should be fretting about.  It’s the quality. Normal table salt contains over 97% pure sodium chloride, with the remaining 3% comprising artificial chemicals such as anti-caking and flow agents. Natural, unprocessed salt on the other hand, has no additives but instead, all the wonderfully intricate mineral elements and micro-nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, copper and many more in perfect, natural balance. 

Like organically grown, straight-from-the earth fruit and vegetables, Oryx Desert Salt is a wholefood. Eat it that way. Generously sprinkled.

We’re built to have a craving for salt. Trust your body’s signals, when it comes to consuming salt – you need it.  There are so many things to worry about in this world. Choose your salt wisely, and how much you’re eating doesn’t have to be one of them.*

Available in Pick ‘n Pay, Woolworths, Deli’s and Health Shops, as well as in Whole Foods Market USA.

#naturalunrefinedsalt #freefromadditives #Saltfromthekalahari #nutritioussalt #saltwithtraceelements

Sources:
https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/the-salt-of-the-earth/

http://naturefresh.co.za/salt-is-good-for-you/

https://www.drstevenlin.com/salt-good-for-you/

“The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong — and How Eating More MightSave Your Life,” written by James DiNicolantonio, Pharm.D.

*Disclaimer: Oryx Desert Salt will never tell you what to do when it comes to your health. We put forward research and opinions for your consideration and urge you to do your own research.

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