(NaturalNews) It's no secret that sodium has replaced carbohydrates and fat as the new scapegoat for all sorts of health issues ranging from high blood pressure and osteoporosis, to heart disease. New product marketing strategies boast "low sodium" or "reduced sodium" labels, and many brands are replacing sodium all together with potentially harmful potassium chloride. It is true that many studies have been conducted linking sodium to many of American's modern day health problems; however, these studies are conducted using table salt (sodium chloride) or isolated sodium (sodium that has been stripped of the minerals needed for the body to utilize it properly). The table salt found in high amounts in the standard American diet is not synonymous with the "un-tested" good type of sodium our body needs to maintain good health.
Table salt is mined from underground salt mines. It is then heavily processed, refined, stripped of all its minerals except for sodium and chloride (NaCl), and subjected to anti-caking agents like aluminum. Table salt is an acidic, inorganic substance; this means the body cannot break the chemical bonds to utilize the sodium and it is not easily excreted from the body. This leads to various health issues, is responsible for 100,000 deaths each year, and contributes to the "sodium is bad" mentality.
However, table salt (NaCl) and sodium (Na) are not synonymous. In fact, the majority of Americans are deficient in the good type of sodium the body needs. True organic sodium is essential, beneficial, and needed by our body in moderate amounts. This type of sodium is found in fruits, vegetables, natural sea salt and soil. Sodium is known as the "youth mineral" because it is associated with youthful, limber, and flexible joints. The alkalinity of organic sodium helps neutralize acids that result from stressful lifestyles and poor nutrition. Without adequate amounts of sodium, the body will take minerals from its reserves, including the bones, to neutralize acid. Organic sodium is essential for calcium absorption, digestion, bile production, fluid balance, and the function of the brain, kidneys, liver, lymph, blood, spleen, gastric secretions, cellular function, and metabolism. Unlike table salt, an excess of this type of sodium is easily excreted from the body.
There are many health problems caused by an organic sodium deficiency including: gallstones, kidney stones, hardened arteries, osteoporosis, arthritis, gout, brittle bones, heartburn, acid reflux, gastroparesis, nerve problems, indigestion, headaches, stiff or painful joints, abnormal pulmonary function, bacterial infections, poor memory, diabetes, bloating, fatigue, restless legs, weight gain, and headaches, and more.
To prevent a deficiency of this important mineral, ditch the table salt and add sodium rich foods to your diet. Foods highest in organic sodium include: celery, asparagus, barley, red cabbage, carrots, coconut, okra, lentils, kale, strawberries, sesame seeds, raisins, goat's milk, egg yolks, and pure (non-iodized) sea salt.
When using logic, it is clear. Organic sodium from food sources is not responsible for poor health, as celery or any of the other foods listed above have not been used as controls in the research and studies responsible for the negative sodium publicity. The vast amount of health issues attributed to "sodium" are directly related to the high amounts of table salt found in the processed foods most Americans consume. To prevent these health issues, ditch the table salt, not the sodium.
1. Dr. M. Ted Morter, JR., M.A., "Your Health Your Choice."
2. Dr. Bernard Jensen, Ph.D., "The Chemistry of Man."
Megan Heimer is a lawyer, natural health therapist, registered yoga teacher, has a bachelor's degree in political science, and will soon complete her doctorate in naturopathic medicine. She has extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, natural health, and alternative medicine. Megan is currently conducting research on various natural health topics, writing a book, and counsels clients in natural healing all over the world. Check out her blogs at: www.megansmind-holisticwellness.blogspot.com and measrevolution.wordpress.com