Salt is currently considered a leading culprit for high blood pressure and other health problems. This is based on the premise that a high sodium intake creates high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, arterial, and kidney problems. Salt is high in sodium. But sodium is essential for proper absorption of other major nutrients and functioning of nerves and muscles, as well as being necessary for balancing water and minerals in the body.
Lately there have been studies that strongly question the research on sodium hazards, as well as the recommended maximum sodium intakes from that research. There has been a survey in New York, conducted over several years on hypertension prone locals, which showed that those with high sodium intakes had proportionately less heart attacks than those who were put on low sodium diets! And now there are even MD`s who claim that the right type of salt, unrefined, has more health benefits than health hazards.
A major confusion is that only refined commercial and household salt is known as salt to most of medical science and consumers. It is the most prevalent, by far. Refined salt, stripped of its natural mineral structure, is virtually all sodium. As a matter of fact, it is 97% to 99% sodium! That`s why it is called Sodium Chloride. Processed foods are laced with Sodium Chloride refined salt as well as with other types of sodium, such as sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, and the notorious monosodium glutamate (MSG). So if you are concerned about your sodium levels, then cut out processed foods!
Part of the process for refined salt, or commercial table salt, involves the use of aluminum, ferro cyanide and bleach. These are all toxic materials that your body takes in with refined, commercial salt. And because of that process, almost all the vital minerals that real, unrefined salt can offer are removed! One or two servings of refined salt won`t send you to the grave. But continued almost daily use will avail you to the perils of aluminum toxicity. Ferro cyanide is listed by the EPA as a toxic material for human consumption. You are probably aware of the hazards to human health of chlorine, which is used to bleach the salt.
There’s more on aluminum toxicity here: 4 Ways to Detoxify Aluminum From Your Life
According to Dr. David Brownstein, author of Salt Your Way to Health, unrefined salt is an excellent detoxification aid, as well as a provider of mineral nutrients in a naturally bio-available balance. There are usually around 80 minerals and essential trace elements in unrefined, organic salt. Soil grown food is lacking in many of these because the soil has been depleted of trace elements and minerals. Some of the major minerals included with unrefined salt are: Magnesium (a very essential metabolic agent), calcium, potassium, and sulfate. Obviously, sodium is present also, but it comprises only 50% of the total mineral content rather than the 99% sodium in refined table salt.
Regular consumer table salt, refined, sometimes has iodine added in order to promote thyroid health. Dr. Brownstien has devoted a good deal of his practice and research on thyroid and glandular health. He says there is less iodized salt now than before, and the amount of iodine in iodized salt is insufficient for optimum thyroid health anyway. Iodine is an important agent for glandular health, and it is also scarcely present in our food anymore. Unless you eat a lot of seafood and roll the dice with mercury!
Dr. Brownstein strongly advocates the use of unrefined, organic salt with iodine supplements, preferably a combination of potassium iodide and iodine. He maintains that these two dietary items contribute largely toward optimum endocrine health, which is vital for a strong immune system.
Unrefined salt has a distinctively different look from refined salt. It is usually too course to be used in salt shaker. You may want to invest in a salt grinder. And it is usually not very white. Off white is more common, even pink or gray for unrefined pure salt. The extreme white of common household or commercial salt is a result of bleaching. But buyer beware, some so called sea salts offered on line and especially in health food stores are at least partially processed. Avoid sea salt that is too white and too fine as a rule of thumb.
If you are very concerned about getting the purest available product, and you don`t have anyone`s advice you can trust, look for “organic certification”. Since salt is mined or taken from salt water beds, organic has different implications than produce and animal product organic requirements. But the standards are there and they are strict. The two groups that certify salt as organic are BIO-GRO of New Zealand, and Nature & Progresre of France.
You may come across an analysis of organic salt minerals, or a commentary on such, that mentions fluoride as a constituent. But there are two types of fluoride. One, Calcium Fluoride, is an element that occurs as a natural process over time within the earth`s soil, rock, and water areas. This is the fluoride that originally was claimed as a deterrent against tooth decay. Wikipedia notes that while all other fluorides are dangerous for human consumption, calcium fluoride is not. And it`s Calcium Fluoride that would be in any unrefined salt analysis.
The other fluoride, Sodium Fluoride, is a synthetic, poisonous fluoride. It has been used as rat poison. It`s a waste by-product of the aluminum industry, fertilizer industry, and nuclear industry. It`s their way of picking up a lot of easy bucks by selling it to municipalities for their water supplies instead of suffering the expense of getting rid of it. That`s the stuff that`s been going into our water supplies, causing health problems, and assisting in the dumbing down of America. Either the dentists didn`t distinguish between those two, or perhaps they didn`t even know there were two types of fluoride.
It appears that organically produced, unrefined salt should be a healthy addition to our diets. It offers bio-available, balanced minerals that aren`t naturally present in our food chain. It does not contain the poisons of industry that are a part of refined salt. Yes, too much of a good thing can be bad. But again, the sodium of refined salt and other food additives is curbed best by eliminating processed foods, which contain several toxic sodium sources as well as unrefined salt, from the diet. Dr. Brownstein`s advice, using organic, unrefined salt with a little bit of iodine supplementation, seems like a natural and economical way to boost one`s immune system.
Crusader Health News, January 18, 2009 – Interview of Dr. David Brownstein
Salt Institute, www.saltinstitute.org
Rutgers (New Brunswick) Health Education Newsletter, 2002