The salt shake-up: what you need to know about this misunderstood mineral

November 19, 2015

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Hands up if you’ve been lead to believe that salt is bad for you, and you should avoid it at all costs? Unfortunately, we’ve been misinformed by the media and some ‘health experts’ about the consumption of salt, provoking a sense of fear within the general population and prompting people to try to completely eliminate it from their lives and diets. It’s a substance that’s become demonised, and while some of the criticisms are warranted, not all of them are. 

Because here’s the thing...

SALT IS ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE

Without any salt, we literally cannot exist as it’s one of the most fundamental aspects of our metabolism and health. In it’s natural, unrefined form, salt is an abundant source of trace minerals that are necessary for our survival. But let me stress this point- not all salts are the same! There are HUGE differences between unrefined, natural, healthy salt, and the typical standard, refined table salt. 

 

Common Table Salt

The white, common table and cooking salts that you find in the supermarkets have absolutely nothing in common with natural salts, and are so processed that they are almost completely devoid of all nutrients. This is the type of salt that we want to avoid consuming as it can be comprised of 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals, which can be really damaging to our bodies and health. The purification process involves drying the salt at temperatures over 650 degrees celsius, and this excessive heat actually alters the natural chemical structure of the salt, potentially causing a wide range of health issues. Anti-caking compounds are also often added during the processing, with up to 2.5% of the finished products that may contain chemicals such as bleach, aluminium, sugar, moisture absorbents and iodine.

Consuming table salt causes excess fluid in your body tissues. As table salt is an unnatural form of sodium chloride that your body doesn't recognise, it remains outside of your cells and requires water to be drawn out from the inside of your cells to neutralise it. This results in your cells becoming dehydrated, causing water retention between the cells, which is why some people may feel bloated or 'puffy' when they consume excess table salt. Himalayan, rock and sea salts act through osmosis to pull water and minerals into your cells, resulting in proper cell hydration without the water retention. 

 

Himalayan & Natural Rock Salt

Sourced from the Himalayas and also known as ‘pink salt’ or 'Himalayan crystal salt’, this salt is over 250 million years old and is the purest salt available on Earth as it’s remained uncontaminated from pollution. This little wonder is raw, unprocessed and unrefined, containing 84 minerals and trace elements that are necessary for our health and wellbeing. 

One of the reasons this substance is so amazing is because it enhances the absorbability and hydration effect of water in our bodies. Salt and water go hand in hand- too much or too little of either one will throw your body out of balance and result in various health issues. Remember this: where minerals go, water follows! Minerals carry water into our cells, and as Himalayan salt is chock-full of minerals, it means it’s super hydrating because it allows water to be absorbed into the cells where it’s needed. The most effective way to do this is by consuming water and salt together- see our tips on how to do this below.

Natural salt is an ‘electrolyte' and is used throughout our whole bodies, for every single bodily function. Electrolytes are essential because they transfer nutrients, liquids and wastes across cells, and carry electrical impulses to other cells. As electrical beings, humans need minerals for proper functioning and cellular communication, especially hormone communication, to keep our bodies in balance. 

 

Here are just some of the benefits of consuming Himalayan and Natural Rock salts:

-regulates the water content throughout the body

-regulates blood pressure

-regulates kidney function and reduces water retention

-alkalising as it balances excess acidity from your cells, particularly brain cells

-assists generation of hydroelectric energy in cells

-balances your blood sugar levels

-supports vascular health 

-helps to reduce ageing

-absorbs food particles through intestinal tract

-improves sleep

-reduces dehydration and migraines

-supports respiratory health

-alleviates constipation

-supports your libido

-prevents muscle cramps

-improves metabolism and digestion

-enhances adrenal function

-promotes sinus health

-vital for our nervous system

 

Sea Salt

While sea salts are a much better option than commercial table salts, they’re still not ideal. This is unfortunately due to the contamination and pollution of our oceans worldwide. The oceans have become a dumping ground for toxins, wastes, and are also affected by oil spills, and these toxic particles get transferred into the salt. Because of this contamination, most companies now refine their sea salt to eliminate the toxins, so they are no longer left natural and unrefined. One way to tell if your salt has been processed is by the colour. Natural sea-salts range from off-white to light grey colours, so if you come across pure white sea salt then you know it’s been refined and therefore missing the vital nutrients that your body needs. 

 

Our Tips

Loving what you’ve learnt and want to incorporate Himalayan salt into your life to reap its amazing benefits? Here’s what we suggest...

-Some people may feel as though they’re sensitive to table salt and swell up when they consume it. When making the switch to Himalayan salt they may find that during the first few days they may experience some water retention, but this will pass as Himalayan salt helps regulate water content throughout the body. 

-As everyone is different and has individual requirements, the amount of salt each one of us needs is varied. Your body is clever and is always trying to help you, so listen to what it has to say. You can usually tell how much salt you need by your cravings and the taste of it. If you’re adding salt to your foods and finding the taste too strong, then trying reducing it. If you’re craving salt it’s usually a sign of a mineral deficiency, dehydration, or low functioning adrenal glands, so you may need to add a little more into your diet. In which case, try the following tips instead of reaching for a bag of salty chips...

-Add a pinch of Himalayan salt into 1 litre of filtered water each day, which allows the water to penetrate the cells in your body. Keep it in a bottle to carry around with you all day and it will help you replenish the minerals in your body. 

-Make a salt brine/sole (pronounced solay): this is water that has been fully saturated with natural salt- it’s potent! Place Himalayan or Celtic salt rocks into a jar of filtered water and let it sit for several hours to dissolve. It will stop dissolving when it reaches 26% saturation. You don’t want all the crystals to dissolve, so if they have keep adding more until they can no longer dissolve. This is a much higher energetic form of salt than salt by itself, which will help regulate the acid and alkaline levels of your body and increase your energy and performance levels. Add half a teaspoon to a glass of filtered water when you first wake up, and with each litre of water throughout the day. Start off with small amounts and gradually increase your intake. 

-Add a pinch of salt to your meals after the cooking process. When heated at high temperatures, the structure of the salt changes and will therefore act differently in your body. 

 

KOJA Salad Toppers

We use a small amount of Murray River Gourmet Rock Salt in our KOJA Salad toppers. This is sourced directly from the Murray River, which is located on the border of Victoria and NSW. It's a very high quality form of natural salt, full of minerals and locally sourced. We're proud to work with other local Australian businesses who are passionate about quality ingredients. 

 

I hope you've learnt a lot and are excited to try it for yourself!
Heidi x

 


This post was written with love by our Brand Communications Hero, Heidi Brockmann. 
ABOUT HEIDI:
Heidi is a Sydney babe who's recently moved to Melbs, to join the KOJA team! She is very passionate about holistic health and inspiring others to live natural lifestyles. Her interest in the connection between our physical body and our emotional health lead her to study BodyMind Nutrition. She is currently training to become a Life Coach, Holistic Counsellor and Complementary Therapist. 

*Image sourced from 'The Sweeter the Juice'



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