Salt: The Spice of Life or Poison?

Table salt
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We all know what regular white salt looks like—and we mistakenly think it is real salt when it's not. The fact is that refined white salt, such as commercial table salt, is bad—very bad stuff. Unrefined natural salt, on the other hand, is good—very good stuff— providing many health benefits.

Unrefined sea salt may or may not be healthy, depending on which minerals are contained in the salt. The blood-pressure-raising effect of table salt may be due to its high content of sodium with not enough magnesium to balance it. This has a magnesium-lowering effect that can constrict the arteries and raise blood pressure. Real salt (of various kinds) contains magnesium, which is why it usually does not affect blood pressure in a negative way.

Sodium is an essential nutrient required by the body for maintaining levels of fluids and for providing channels for nerve signaling. Some sodium is needed in your body to regulate fluids and blood pressure and to keep muscles and nerves running smoothly.

Without appropriate amounts of sodium, your body may have a difficult time cooling down after intense exercise or activity. When the body is hot, you sweat. If you do not have enough sodium, your body may not sweat as much, and you may then become overheated. This could result in a stroke or exhaustion as well as dehydration.

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Sodium is an energy carrier. It is also responsible for sending messages from the brain to muscles through the nervous system so that muscles move on command. When you want to move your arm or contract any muscle in your body, your brain sends a message to a sodium molecule that passes it to a potassium molecule and then back to a sodium molecule, until it gets to its final destination and the muscle contracts. This is known as the sodium-potassium ion exchange. Therefore, without sodium, you would never be able to move any part of your body.

Excess sodium (such as that obtained from dietary sources) is excreted in the urine. Most of the sodium in the body (about 85 percent) is found in blood and lymph fluid. Sodium levels in the body are partly controlled by a hormone called aldosterone, which is made by the adrenal glands. Aldosterone levels determine whether the kidneys hold sodium in the body or pass it into the urine.

Salt expert David Brownstein weighs in heavily on this matter:

“Nobody makes a distinction between unrefined and refined salt. They ‘lump’ all salt together as a bad substance. This is a terrible mistake. There are two forms of salt available in the market place: refined and unrefined. Refined salt has had its minerals removed and has been bleached to give it the white appearance that we are accustomed to seeing with salt. It is the fine, white salt that is available at almost any restaurant or grocery store. Refined salt has been bleached and exposed to many toxic chemicals in order to get it to its final product. It has aluminum, ferrocyanide, and bleach in it. I believe this refining process has made it a toxic, devitalized substance that needs to be avoided.

“Unrefined salt, on the other hand, has not been put through a harsh chemical process. It contains the natural minerals that were originally part of the product. Its mineral content gives it a distinct color. The colors of unrefined salt can vary depending on where it is taken from. This is due to the changing mineral content of the various brands of salt. It is the minerals in unrefined salt that provide all the benefits of this product. The minerals supply the body with over 80 trace elements needed to maintain and sustain health. Furthermore, the minerals elevate the pH (correct acidity) and lower blood pressure. Our maker gave us salt to use in our diet—unrefined salt—with its full complement of minerals. It should be the salt of choice. It is a vital ingredient that needs to be part of everyone’s diet.”

All this adds up to one thing: Refined table salt, whether marine or not, is toxic—it’s poisonous to the body and is responsible, in great part, for the onset of many terrible diseases, including thyroid and metabolic dysfunction.

In addition to sodium and chloride, unrefined mined salt provides other nutrients that naturally occur in salt beds, including trace amounts of calcium, magnesium potassium, iron and zinc. But I must again tell you that the ionic bonds that occur in these mineral salts make them very difficult to digest. Because they are alkaline in nature, they tend to correct an acid pH. An acid pH can greatly contribute to cancer. Cancer needs an acidic pH to grow in the body. It is difficult for cancer to grow in alkalized body chemistry. Back in the 1970s, Dr. Carey Reams showed through body chemistry analysis that this theory could be proven clinically.

Mined salt, in many cases, is mined at 5,000 feet over millions of years and is more than 99 percent pure. The higher the amount of pressure, the more superior or excellent the state of order within the crystalline structure of salt.

Mined salts can contain 84 minerals and trace elements in ionic state and may even be pink in color. Deep mined salts support the production of digestive fluids in the liver and pancreas, regulate the metabolism and harmonize the acid-alkaline balance.

Healthmasters Real Salt is mined in the United States and is a good unrefined salt that I recommend. It can be used as a table salt and for cooking and is available in coarse and fine grinds and in a variety of sizes.

This real salt comes from a mineral-rich salt deposit formed by an ancient sea in Utah. It contains 62 trace minerals and is without additives, chemicals or heat processing of any kind. Its unique pinkish appearance and flecks of color come from the more than 60 naturally occurring trace minerals. The result is a delicate “sweet salt” flavor that you may not have experienced before.

My family and I love this salt. It is incredible, and it's actually healthy for you. We have been using it for years, plus it tastes great in recipes.

Dr. Ted Broer, a university-trained biochemist, exercise physiologist and licensed nutritionist, nearly died of heart disease at the age of 27. He has spent nearly two decades studying the relationships between nutrition, exercise, disease and premature death.

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