Health Begins Here
What is it: Salt is the mineral Sodium Chloride. Unrefined salt ranges from 95-98% sodium chloride and 2-5% other minerals and trace elements.
Why it is bad: Commonly believed to increase blood pressure and cause inflammation. However, there are no clinical studies proving that unrefined salt, along with a balanced diet, increases blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
Why it is good: Regulates blood volume, blood pressure, blood pH, and body metabolism. It is also essential in creating electrolytes, enzymes, and hydrochloric acid.
General Information: Salt is essential for life. It is needed to regulate blood pressure, blood volume, blood pH, and body metabolism. It also plays a key role in creating electrolytes, enzymes, and hydrochloric acid. Without it, we simply could not survive.
Unrefined salt is between 95-98% sodium chloride and 2-5% other minerals and trace elements (otherwise known as micronutrients). These micronutrients, can consist of all the remaining natural occurring minerals and elements on earth (possibly over 80 different components). The top five micronutrients (by volume) in unrefined salt are sulfate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and bicarbonate. Sodium chloride and the micronutriuents that unrefined salts contain, play a vital role in proper health and resistance to disease. However, these minerals and elements need to exist in the body at specific proportions in order to be utilized. For example, magnesium can only be used if calcium and phosphorus are in correct balance. Proper sodium/potassium balance is critical for cellular maintenance and function. Furthermore, an overabundance of one mineral can result in a deficiency of another. Maintaining a proper mineral balance is critical and unrefined sea salt from the living oceans of the world provide an excellent source of sodium chloride and micronutrients in their proper ratios.
Refined salt is typically 99.9% sodium chloride. The micronutrients are removed for two reasons. First, washing, chemically bleaching and forced drying are performed to remove any contamination from the machinery used in the mining/harvesting process. Secondly, the micronutrients have a greater value when sold off individually to pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic and other industries.
The overabundant use of refined salt in fast foods, commercial soups and snacks can quickly lead to a mineral unbalance. One such imbalance is the sodium/potassium ratio. The elevated levels of sodium caused a deficiency of potassium, leading to inflammation.
It is commonly believed that over-consumption of salt will increase blood pressure. While some studies have shown that obese men have had very small blood pressure changes on a low-sodium diet, there are no clinical studies proving that unrefined salt, along with a balanced diet, increases blood pressure to unhealthy levels. Additionally, there apparently is little evidence that finds an association in the general population between low-sodium diets and reduced incidence of cardiovascular events like stroke or heart attack. The true concern would be not having enough salt. This can lead to spasms, irregular heartbeat, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and even increase the risk of heart attack in hypertensive patients.
The stripping of essential nutrients, chemical processing, and the addition of fillers to refined salts make it a less than ideal product for daily consumption. Using unrefined salt is not only better for you, the rich, creamy, sweet flavor will also enhance any dish. Unrefined salt is an important part in forging a healthy lifestyle.
A word of caution, not all sea salt is unrefined. Be sure to look for "Unrefined" printed on labels of potential salt purchases.