Table salt, Celtic Sea salt or Himalayan salt?
Salt or sodium chloride is a widely debated topic in the health industry. Our bodies need salt for proper cell function which is essential for life. It helps keep our cells hydrated and works closely with potassium and proteins within the cells our muscles and nerve cells need. This process aids our heart, lungs and nervous system.
Sodium plays a huge role in digestion for the proper absorption of amino acids into our bloodstream. If it is not present proteins will not be converted into hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies and many other things the body needs to survive.
I used to avoid salt in my twenties and early thirties because I thought salt was bad for me. When I changed my view of what healthy was in my mid-thirties and focused on my whole body wellness and started seeking the truth, I learned the importance of sodium in your diet.
I’d had dizzy spells here and there but they were getting more frequent so when I told my Naturopathic doctor about it, she told me to up my salt consumption. What???
After I added it back to my diet, the dizzy spells went away and since then I have learned how to use salt properly, all it does for our body and how much the quality of it matters.
Here is some of what I’ve learned about salt since then.
Table salt is an industrial by-product that is chemically stripped of all trace elements but sodium and chloride. In order to prevent clumping due to all the chemicals, anti-caking agents are added and mostly in the form of aluminum calcium silicate. There may also be bleach added for unified colouring. What is the issue? The FDA does not require the disclosure of these chemicals so we don’t know what exactly is in there and their effects on the body.
How do they remove everything but sodium and chloride? It is treated with caustic soda or lime to remove all traces of magnesium salts. Our bodies need magnesium! The process involves heating the salt up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit after the chemicals are stripped. Once heated to that temperature the salt is inactive when it combines with our body fluids so it is doing nothing for us nutritionally only satisfying our taste buds.
One mineral that is added back to it is iodine because back in the twenties, people who lived inland were developing goiters from iodine deficiency due to their low intake of seafood and exposure to the ocean. So to easily remedy that, they started adding it to table salt since it was in abundance.
What do they do with these valuable minerals once stripped? They go into agricultural and industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals. This kind of puts a damper on the positive, well-respected, complimentary term ‘salt of the earth’!
Celtic Sea Salt
Celtic sea salt comes from the sea as the name suggests but we have to look at what else comes from the sea. Mercury other heavy metals and agricultural and industrial runoff. There are areas known as ‘dead zones’ in the ocean so if you don’t know where the salt was extracted from exactly, you run the risk of ingesting contaminated salts. So finding one that has been optically tested for impurities is the best kind of Celtic sea salt. This will still supply all the beneficial minerals our bodies need and craves, unlike table salt.
This type of salt comes from ancient salt beds in the Himalayan mountain ranges which will have fewer toxins due to its location and with less chance of contamination compared to sea salt.
There are 84 other trace minerals found in Himalayan salt like potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, and selenium which support our electrolyte levels, proper nutrient absorption, elimination of toxins, balance our body’s pH levels, blood pressure and circulation as well as and proper cell building in our entire body.
My favourite salt company is Salt Works which has optical testing, kosher certification, is certified and authentic and is all-natural and organic compliant.
Visit their website here and try to find a local supplier to start tasting and feeling the difference. If you can’t find one near you look for similar companies with the same high standards.
Both Celtic Sea salt and Himalayan salt are not naturally high in iodine, but I hope you see the negative effects table salt has and how finding alternative sources of iodine are the better option instead of relying on salt for that crucial mineral.
Do you know Salt Supports our Stress response?
The stress hormone cortisol is made in our adrenals. Our adrenal glands secret 3 different steroid hormones one of them being aldosterone which controls sodium levels in the body and can increase body fluid volumes. Low levels of sodium or high levels of potassium stimulate the release of aldosterone to compensate which may cause water retention (and electrolyte imbalance, sodium being one electrolyte).
If you find yourself craving salt or getting dizzy when you stand up, that may indicate weakened adrenal glands or adrenal fatigue. To find out if you need more adrenal support, download my free guide below and get some great tips on supporting your stress levels.