All the terrible things you’ve heard about salt are true, but only when it comes to table salt. Real salt, on the other hand, is necessary for good health. And you’re probably not getting enough of it.
Benefits of Unrefined Sea Salt
- balances pH and electrolytes
- promotes blood sugar health
- supports cardiovascular health
- prevents muscle cramps
- regulates sleep
- increases energy
- regulates blood pressure
- supports thyroid health
- contributes to healthy veins
- aids in healthy weight loss
- maintains proper brain, muscle, & nervous system function
- improves digestion
- works as a natural antihistamine
- keeps adrenal glands healthy
- supports immune function
- maintains healthy cholesterol levels
Regular table salt is completely different from unrefined sea salt. Table salt is mined from underground deposits and then heavily processed and heated to extreme temperatures.
This manufacturing process alters the chemical composition of the salt and destroys virtually all nutritional benefits. Finally, a variety of additives contribute to the final result.
Dr. Axe says there are currently 18 permissible additives, including anti-caking agents, MSG, processed white sugar, and aluminum derivatives. In the end, table salt is not really even salt at all.
Salt Is Not the Culprit
For years, government and medical experts like the American Heart Association have sounded the alarm about salt intake. Reducing our sodium intake is supposed to lower blood pressure along with the risk for heart disease and premature death.
Not so, say many holistic health practitioners. The tide of popular advice is turning, as studies reveal that sodium itself may not be the culprit.
Sodium is simply a marker of unhealthy food, says Dr. Sean C. Lucan. He adds that the real target should be refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods. “Refined carbohydrates are a greater enemy.”ameri
On a side note, cholesterol isn’t the culprit either.
The real culprit is processed foods, which provide the majority of an average American’s salt intake. Processed foods also contain sugar and trans fats (largely from partially hydrogenated oils) which cause inflammation in the body.
It turns out that inflammation, not sodium or cholesterol, is what causes heart disease and heart attacks. In fact, inflammation is the root cause of most diseases. To prevent disease, we need to reduce or prevent inflammation.
For most people, inflammation can be reduced through lifestyle changes such as:
- avoiding processed foods
- eating real foods
- reducing stress
- exercising regularly
- reducing toxins
Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. points to a
large evidence base documenting how lifestyle intervention is often more effective in reducing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, heart failure, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and deaths from all causes than almost any other medical intervention. It is because lifestyle doesn’t only reduce risk factors such as high blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol. Our lifestyle and environment influence the fundamental causes and biological mechanisms leading to disease: changes in gene expression, which modulate inflammation, oxidative stress, and metabolic dysfunction. Those are the real reasons we are sick.
Types of Unrefined Sea Salt
Since salt isn’t the culprit and unrefined sea salt actually provides many health benefits, which kind of sea salt is best?
- Himalayan pink salt – Mined from the Himalayas, this pink salt is considered by many to be the best unrefined sea salt.
- Celtic sea salt – Celtic sea salt is gray in color and comes from the ocean.
- Real Salt – Redmond Real Salt comes from an ancient inland sea discovered in Utah.
Redmond Real Salt is my favorite because it’s generally the most affordable option, it comes from the USA, and I just like the Redmond company.
I buy Redmond Real Salt in the following formats:
- 16 oz bag – I generally keep at least 2 bags on hand, for refilling our kitchen salt shaker and the nicer dining room salt shaker.
- 10 shaker – This is what I use everyday in my kitchen. I refill it from the 16 oz bags.
- 2 oz shakers – These adorable little shakers are perfect for travel and even for packing your lunch! It might make me a food snob, but I like to season my salads and my avocado with unrefined sea salt. My oldest son appreciates a little salt on his hard boiled eggs.
How to Use Unrefined Sea Salt
• Cook with it – Salt makes food taste better. As long as you’re adding unrefined sea salt and not table salt, don’t be shy!
• Bake with it – Replace iodized table salt with unrefined sea salt in your baking recipes.
• Mix it into this Magic ACV Tonic – Take this tonic at the first signs of immune distress. It’s also helpful for clearing nasal drainage and can even be taken every day.
• Make an Easy Electrolyte Drink – Perfect hydration for workout recovery, a hot day of yard work, or post-stomach flu.
• Drink Sole every day – Sole is a drink made by fully saturating water with unrefined sea salt. Wellness Mama drinks it every day for its energy-boosting, hydrating, and antihistamine benefits, among other things. Here’s how to make it.
Sources & Further Reading:
- Top 6 Essential Health Benefits of Sea Salt | Dr. Axe
- 5 Reasons to Eat MORE Salt | Wellness Mama
- New Study Finds No Connection between Salt and Heart Disease | Scientific American
- Shaking Up the Salt Myth | Chris Kresser
- Salt Your Way to Health | David Brownstein, M.D.
- Attempting to Reduce Sodium Intake Might Do Harm and Distract From Greater Enemy | America Journal of Public Health
- Low Salt Diet Ups Risk of Heart Attack | CNN
- Cholesterol May Not Be the Cause of Heart Disease | Mark Hyman, M.D.
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…