Is salt good or
speaking, salt (sodium) plays a major role in human health. It not only feeds
nutritional mineral elements to our cells, it also dissolves, sanitizes and
cleanses toxic wastes from our system. It is this latter function that makes
salt such a healing substance. All classic biology textbooks refer to salt
as the cleanser of bodily fluids.
Most physiological and biological processes function correctly
only when sufficient quantities of sodium are present. For example, the body
makes hydrochloric acid from salt. (Hydrochloric acid is one of our essential
digestive fluids.) In a healthy person, the quantity of salt retained in the
tissues remains constant. Any excess sodium ingested is automatically eliminated
through the kidneys. However, if disease is present, this elimination of excess
salt is impaired, and excess salt deposits are created; or sudden loss of
internal salt can occur.
When stress or infection demand an extra supply of salt, our
body reserves are used. Addison's disease, pylorus blockage, ulcers and gastric
cancers can create a critical loss of chloride ions and lower the sodium
chloride in the digestive system causing a shortage of hydrochloric acid in
gastric juices. These losses of chlorine and sodium inhibit the cell's
self-cleansing function resulting in the blood becoming loaded with toxins.
This, in turn, can act on the nervous system and create a chain reaction of new
losses of sodium chloride, which in extreme cases can be fatal.
Salt is also responsible for the balance of acids and bases
within the body. When salt enters the body it dissolves into ions (also called
electrolytes because they carry electrical current). With this in mind, the
water balance role of salt may be easier to understand. Water is a necessary
part of all body cells but cells have no way to hold onto water molecules
directly. They can only move ions around and water will follow ions. So the
cells direct where the ions go, the water follows and this determines where the
Why do people
think salt is bad?
The problem with
salt is not the salt itself, but the condition of the salt. In the 1940s the
major salt producers in the USA began to dry salt at very high temperatures.
This changed the chemical structure of the salt. These changes affect the
human body adversely. In order to make salt whiter, dryer and easier to
pour they removed the minerals and other nutrients so that what was left was
pure white sodium. Sodium is only one chemical found in salt but it is what we
buy in our supermarkets and what we erroneously call salt.
have studied the effect of sodium and salt on the human body. It is now
widely known that certain substances increase our appetite. Salt is one of
the most powerful. The reason for this lies in the part of our brain
called the appestat. The appestat constantly monitors the nutrient content
of our blood and only when 51 specific nutrients are present at their proper
levels will we feel full. Food scientists have found that by adding or
subtracting some of these nutrients, they can manipulate our sense of hunger and
satiety. While some of this research is still incomplete, it is believed
that adding excess fat, sugar and salt to a food tends to make people overeat.
To simplify, if we eat a partial food or in the case of salt, a chemical, our
brains tell us to keep eating until the correct number of nutrients are present
in the blood. Have you ever wondered why you can't eat just one potato
Salt that will not
dissolve has a tendency to collect in body organs. Use this test to
determine if salt has been processed. Mix a spoonful of salt in a glass of water
and let stand overnight. If the salt collects on the bottom of the glass, it has
been processed. Natural salt will dissolve.
The Function of
understand the function of salt, we need to look to the sea, witness the high
level of health of its creatures and compare its composition to that of human
Dehydrated sea water contains over 80 elements, most required
for the maintenance of the human body. While all salt originates from the sea,
refined table salt and almost all sea salts sold in health food stores have none
of these elements left. Even in the "natural" salts, refining, washing, boiling
or kiln drying has stripped away almost all traces of these minerals. That's why
it is white and dry.