Taken with a pinch of..
Taken with a pinch of...
I’m talking about salt… one of Mother Nature’s homegrown favourites. Salt is now the new villain in the eyes of mainstream medicine… being blamed for everything from high blood pressure to type II diabetes to obesity. But I’m not buying it that salt can’t be part of a healthy diet. If you think of it, our body is primarily made up of salty water. We also have taste buds designed for salt so clearly we are supposed to consume some salt.
But just like with sugars, the key is to consume the right kind of salt.
Conventional table salt, the one found in processed foods and contributing to health problems, is a nasty substance. Mined from the earth and then scorched at high heat striping all of the trace minerals, table salt is essentially sodium chloride. It is then blended with a cocktail of chemicals including anti-caking agents, some made with aluminum, added iodine, sugar and sometimes even bleach.
Pass the salt? No thanks.
But there are some healthy alternatives and I’m going to talk about my 3 favorites today…
Celtic Sea Salt
It’s hand-harvested from seawater and then dried by the sun and wind, retaining the ocean’s moisture and vast array of trace minerals. Celtic sea salt is a coarse, moist salt that has a light grey hue from clay banks it’s harvested from. This salt has an earthy, hearty flavor that’s delicious in just about everything.
Himalayan Sea Salt
This salt has spent millions of years buried under extreme pressure where toxins and pollutants can’t invade. Since there is no such thing as “organic” salt, this is the next best thing. Himalayan sea salts contain up to 84 minerals and has a sweet, salty taste with a cleaner finish than conventional salt.
Health Benefits of Sea Salt
These sea salts can be wonderful for the body when used in moderation including:
- Regulating the fluids in our body
- Promoting a healthy pH balance in the cells
- Aids in digestion
- Supports our nervous system
- Promotes sinus health
- Can help ease muscle cramps
- Regulates sleep
Beware of salts claiming to be sea salt when they are dried and processed similar to conventional salt and simply dyed to look more natural. Also, know that Kosher Salt does not equate to sea salt.
But what if you can’t tolerate even sea salt? Don’t despair. There is a wonderful salt substitute called kelp. This seaweed is truly a super food. High in iron, calcium, potassium and iodine, kelp is low in sodium and yet has a salty flavor. It’s a delicious replacement to salt in recipes. Note, it does get a bit gelatinous when mixed with liquids so be cautious with amount used.