I want to talk to you about a rock; a rock you can eat. It’s salt. As a boy I heard them teach at church, “Ye are the salt of the Earth.” I asked my Mom what that meant and she said it means the best, the most noble. In the Navy we used the term “Salty Dog” which referred to a very experienced sailor. The superstitious throw spilled salt over their shoulder for good luck. And a “grain of salt” helps you swallow a partially doubtful story.
Historically, salt was a very precious commodity. In fact, it was ounce for ounce as valuable as gold. Roman soldiers received a portion of their pay in salt, which is where the term salary came from and also the phrase “worth his salt.” It has always been used as a seasoning and an antiseptic. And well before we had refrigerators and canning, salt was used to preserve our food.
Recently there has been an all-out “assault on salt.” To be sure, this mineral in excess can be harmful and can cause high blood pressure, edema, kidney issues, and even stomach cancer. But there is also a growing body of evidence from medical studies that indicate salt is a more important nutrient than previously thought, with substantial benefits, and less likely to produce negative effects than we are being told.
The human body cannot produce its own sodium, which is needed for everything from blood, sweat, and tears to digestive juice production and optimal nerve supply.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that shows a low salt zone where stroke, heart attack, and premature death actually increase. Interestingly, they found that the government’s present salt guidelines fall right in the middle of that danger zone.
A Harvard study found low sodium diets caused insulin resistance leading to Type 2 diabetes and that Type 2 diabetics are more likely to die prematurely on the low salt diet. A study from the American Journal of Hypertension found that low-salt diets increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Elderly subjects with low sodium have more falls with hip fractures and have diminished cognitive abilities.
There are a myriad of other benefits derived from proper amounts of dietary sodium, a few of which are:
*Maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance *Sunstroke protection *Improved mental acuity *Decreased muscle spasms *Assistance with proper glucose absorption
Am I saying that we should eat all the salt ladened, chemicaled-up junk foods available today? Absolutely not! But fruits and vegetables contain the amount of sodium that nature knows is imperative for our health and well-being and we all know that it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. Be Sunwarrior Natural.Learn more about Dr. Steve Weston
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