Also known as its chemical element sodium chloride; salt has been used by humans for thousands of years from food preservation to seasoning. All life has evolved to depend on its chemical properties for survival
In use as far back as 6050BC Salt has been an important part of the evolution of man, each culture placing great importance upon salt
Salt’s ability to preserve food was a founding contributor to the development of civilization. It helped eliminate dependence on seasonal availability of food, and made it possible to transport food over large distances. However, salt was often difficult to obtain, so it was a highly valued trade item, and was considered a form of currency by certain people, the word ‘salary’ was derived from the word salt
It is an essential element in the diet of not only humans but of animals, and even of many plants. It is one of the most effective and most widely used of all food preservatives.
Conflicting information confuse us with reports that label salt as a ‘health hazard’ and others that call it an essential ‘life element’.
Unprocessed sea salt comprises an impressive abundance of minerals which are important chemical elements for life, and although we need minerals in small amounts they are critical for good health. When comparing sea salt with table salt, Himalayan salt and variations on the theme. The grey unbleached sea salt is the most superior and mineral rich in comparisons to all the others. Real sea salt has typically over 60 trace minerals including all the electrolytes and the mineral balance in sea water bares a strong resemblance to the mineral balance in the amniotic fluid (waters) in the amniotic sac (womb).
The precise balance of minerals depends on where the salt was harvested, but generally they include a combination of silicon and phosphorus (both necessary for calcium uptake into bones), vanadium (which helps with blood sugar control), magnesium (a very common deficiency) calcium, and potassium
Potassium helps maintain a steady heartbeat and aids in transmitting nerve impulses. Phosphorus and calcium are crucial in the development and protection of strong bones and teeth and magnesium which is an important mineral necessary for relaxing the heart muscle.
Electrolytes are important because they are the chemicals that help to conduct the electrical current in the body they also regulate our nerves and help our muscles to function. Electrolytes also help with the rebuilding of damaged tissue. Muscles and tissue rely on electrolytyes to hydrate the cells and the fluid inside them, keeping the fluid balanced inside and outside the cell.
On to the matter of table salt which is by contrast, an inferior alternative; table salt is chemically processed & bleached stripping away all minerals except sodium & chloride with possible traces of ammonia or aluminium. Most of the salt on UK tables starts out as rock salt. It has a load of inedible impurities in it, so it has to be heated in an oven to 1200 degrees F, changing its chemical structure to sodium chloride (NaCl – this processed salt is about 98% this). Then they add anti-caking agents (such as toxic ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate), and in some places where there isn’t fluorine added to the water, they’ll add fluoride to the salt, plus a little potassium iodide (added because we’re not getting enough iodine in our diets).
According to stastisca.com in the UK we consume a mean average of 8 grams of salt per person per day but this is not all good quality sea salt.
Currently there is no scientific data connecting sea salt to hypertension. Less than 1% of the UK population are salt sensitive, yet it is still broadly and unfairly demonised. With no distinction between processed table salt and real sea salt to the wider consumer, the proposed UK government tax on salt doesn’t take these facts into consideration.
If the sodium content is a concern then you can use sea salt blended with sea vegetables that naturally reduce the sodium content and enrich the mineral content. Either way, choose as unprocessed salt as possible usually grey in colour is a good sign.
Many people could benefit from mineral rich salt in their diet, if you are one of the salt sensitive best speak to your health practitioner for guidance.
Recommended real sea salts
Seagreens mineral salt
Le Paluduier De Grande Celtic sea salt
Eric de Bur Sea salt