(NaturalNews) Most modern health problems that have been linked to sodium are actually caused by the condition of the salt we eat. The typical modern salt product can be compared to refined sugar and refined flour - it used to be a healthful, whole food, but it has now been stripped and processed into a disaster waiting to happen. What began as an essential nutrient is disfigured into a detriment to our health.
Salt has earned a bad reputation in recent years, so it comes as quite a surprise to hear this seasoning is actually necessary for good health. In fact, every cell in the body requires salt to function. Salt is needed for countless functions in the body, including everything from blood sugar regulation to bone density to circulatory health. And because we lose salt constantly during the day through urine and perspiration, it`s important that we replenish it. It's impossible to try and replace lost sodium with commercial table salt because it is refined and incomplete. Instead, include a high-quality unrefined sea salt in your diet to replenish the sodium, trace minerals and electrolytes your body needs.
Commercial salt is refined by drying at a heat in excess of 1,000 degrees which destroys beneficial substances in salt. This heat also causes chemical distortions that turn salt into sodium chloride, a substance that does no good in the body. Table salt is full of additives, fluoride, anti-caking agents, excessive amounts of potassium iodide and other poisons. Many versions of commercial salt also contain aluminum derivatives, which are known to be highly toxic. These additives can cause discoloration in salt, so bleaching agents are then used to restore the desirable white color. It`s no wonder refined commercial salt is causing so many health problems.
Unrefined sea salt, naturally harvested and dried in the sun, contains a wealth of trace minerals and electrolytes. Our bodies only need small amounts of these nutrients, but they are absolutely vital for a variety of functions in the body. They are key players in enzyme production as well as immune system, adrenal and thyroid function.
Table salt causes imbalances of fluid throughout the body and puts a great deal of strain on the elimination systems. Unrefined sea salt allows the body to achieve a balance of water both inside and outside cells. With adequate natural sodium and pure water, conditions like gout, muscle cramps, water retention and edema disappear.
Real salt stimulates the production of enzymes and digestive juices which are necessary for the body to utilize nutrients from the foods we eat. This can be especially beneficial for people whose diet consists mainly of cooked foods, since cooking foods destroys enzyme content. Unrefined sea salt can help the body digest these foods properly.
Packaged and processed foods are hidden sources of commercial salt. Avoid these types of foods as much as possible, and be careful to check the labels of the other foods you buy. Even fresh meats are often packaged in broths made with refined salt.
Although unrefined sea salt can be considered a health food, it should still be used with wisdom and moderation. Excess salt is not healthy for anyone, and certain individuals may be more sensitive to sodium than others.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...