About the Importance of Salt
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We get too much salt in our foods today.
Too much salt will cause high blood pressure, water retention (swelling), kidney problems, heart problems and the list goes on.
We are told a low-salt or salt-free diet is best for good health.
2000 years ago salt was used as money. Gold and salt had the same value. The word salary comes from salt.
In the old days, salt was used to preserve foods. Today, we have refrigeration, so less salt is required except for maybe curing meats.
All warm blooded animals must have salt to live.
The human brain and spine is in a sac of salt water called CSF (cerebrospinal fluid). This liquid circulates throughout the brain and spinal cord.
We all spent approx 9 months in our mothers belly floating in salt water (amniotic fluid).
Our tears are salty and we sweat salt.
Our bones are hollow in the center (marrow) where blood cells are made. The marrow is covered with many strands of calcium salts, the way rope is woven
together. Salt crystals are woven in with the calcium and these salt crystals are what make our bones hard, not the calcium.
27% of the body’s salt content is located in the bones. When the body requires more salt it can borrow it from the bones. When this happens, calcium is also removed with the salt making the bones thinner, softer and brittle.
Salt is made up of sodium and chlorine. Together they are called Sodium chloride (Na Cl).
Sodium is a soft positive charged metal where chlorine is a negative charged gas that becomes a liquid when put under pressure.
Chlorine is a gas/liquid but somehow when the earth was formed the chlorine
Became a solid with the sodium and trace minerals.
You can crush the salt crystals into a powder and the chlorine stays with the sodium. Chlorine as a solid is called chloride.
The salt we use today comes from our oceans, lakes or salt mines. In addition to sodium and chlorine, all the salt on planet earth comes with many trace minerals mixed into it.
So we can assume that these trace minerals are very important or they would
Not be combined with the salt. Because of the commercial value of these minerals they are removed in order to make big profits.
The human body is able to split the chlorine from the sodium as needed. Our blood requires chlorine as do many of our organs. The stomach uses chlorine to make hydrochloric acid required so we can digest our food correctly.
Our body also uses the sodium chloride as salt to keep the brain, spine, tears, bones, sweat glands, organs and blood topped off with salt. The body benefits from the other trace minerals that help keep the body alkaline and healthy.
Just as drinking too much plain water can kill a person (hyponatremia). The same thing is true with taking too much salt, it can cause swelling, diarrhea, and death.
Table salt is purified by removing the trace minerals and heating the salt to
1200^o F. Now all you have is 40% sodium and 60% chloride then an anti-caking agent is added so it won’t stick together.
Too much sodium can happen from eating too many food additives containing sodium as a binder (sort of a glue). Sodium is not salt. Salt is sodium chloride.
Sodium bicarbonate, sodium benzoate and MSG (mono sodium glutamate) are just a few of these additives.
Sodium, potassium and chloride are electrolytes (special minerals) that dissolve in water and carry electrical charges anywhere there is water in the body.
These electrically charged minerals can freely move into a cell and back out again carrying nutrients in and removing waste products and excess water as to keep the cell balanced.
At the same time as these electrolytes move in and out of the cells making their exchanges, a delicate balance of potassium inside the cell must be maintained with a special amount of sodium and chloride to hold the potassium in the center of the cell.
Electrolytes are found in all fluids of the body and carry impulses along your nerves. This helps your muscles, like the heart and diaphragm, contract and relax.
Electrolytes carry glucose (blood sugar) into the cell after insulin opens the door
or gate for the sugar to be taken in.
Electrolytes also turn “cation pumps” that generate electricity which is stored in the Mg ATP and Mg GTP batteries of the body.
If a person loses too many of these electrolytes from having diarrhea or from
Taking a water pill (diuretic) they can become very sick and must go to the hospital and receive IVs of saline (salt water), dextrose (sugar water) and minerals.
Many of our beverages today contain caffeine that is a diuretic, acting as a water pill, causing a water shortage in the body. Nothing replaces plain water according to Dr Batman.
Scientists and doctors still don’t know how salt dissolves in water or how it can
keep getting saltier and saltier. Scientists and chemists have some theories but can’t prove any of them.
*What salt does for you*
Salt has many other functions than just regulating the water content of the body.
Here are some of its additional important functions in the body according to Dr.
Batman in his book, ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus on pages 144-150:
* Salt is a powerful natural antihistamine. The next time you get a runny nose or watery eyes from allergies, try drinking a glass of plain water, then put a pinch of salt on the end of your tongue and let it dissolve.
* Asthma symptoms can be relieved by drinking one or two glasses of plain water, then putting a pinch of salt on the end of your tongue and let it dissolve. Try it next time… before using your inhaler.
* Salt helps relieve “stress” symptoms.
* Salt is important for the removal of acidity from your brain cells.
* Kidneys will not work correctly without salt.
* Depression and emotional problems are greatly relieved by taking more salt, drinking plain water, eating correctly and walking.
* Bladder control problems and unintentional urine leakage could be helped by adding more salt into your diet.
* Diabetics can bring down their blood sugar levels and reduce their need for insulin by taking salt.
* Irregular heartbeats may be stopped by putting a pinch of salt on the end of your tongue and letting it dissolve.
* Our digestive system requires salt to properly absorb the food we eat.
* Asthma, emphysema and cystic fibrosis suffers can get rid of mucus and phlegm in the lungs by using salt and drinking plain water.
* Gout symptoms can be prevented by using salt.
* If you get muscle cramps (Charlie horses, etc.), salt may relieve them. Try putting a pinch of salt on the end of your tongue and let it dissolve.
* Bones get their hardness from salt, not calcium.
* Osteoporosis is mainly caused by not taking enough salt and water everyday
* Salt is essential for preventing varicose and spider veins on the legs.
* Are you having problems maintaining an erection, you need to eat more salt and drink more plain water.
* Salt may help reduce a double chin. The salivary glands in your mouth sense your body is low on salt and produce more saliva. Over time, this increased production of saliva causes the saliva glands to “leak” in the area under your chin. One possible way to get rid of a double chin.
* Taking salt and drinking plain water before exercising will help you to breathe better and sweat less.
Because there is potassium in almost everything we eat, salt needs to be added to our food. This will allow our body to maintain the proper balance of water between the inside and outside oceans of water in our cells.
In a study of almost 3,000 men that had high blood pressure, the men on a low-salt diet had a 430% increase in heart attacks when compared to the men who ate a high-salt diet.^1
Low-salt diets have also been shown to increase total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels and fasting insulin levels. ^2,3
*Question to think about:*
It has been over thirty years since we were first told to eat a low salt diet in order to avoid having high blood pressure. Why then, do more Americans have high blood pressure today than they did thirty years ago?
*Why do you get High Blood Pressure on a low-salt diet?*
* Our blood is 94% water * Our brain is 85% water * Our soft tissue is 75% water
Dr Batman says water, salt and potassium together regulate the water content of the body.
Basically, every cell in our body has an /ocean of fresh water/ inside the cell and an /ocean of salt water/ outside the cell. Good health depends on a most delicate balance of the water between these two oceans.
Salt forces water to stay in the outside /ocean of water/ of the cell (osmotic retention) and potassium holds water in the inside /ocean of water/ of the cell.
When the body is low on water (you are not drinking enough) it will increase the volume of salty water in the outside ocean of the cell.
Through a special mechanism, a hormone (vasopressin) is released that can filter out the salt from the outside ocean and inject some fresh water into the center ocean as needed to maintain the delicate balance.
For this method to work, the capillaries (blood vessels) must constrict by the use of vasopressin. This causes the capillaries to /tighten up,/giving you high blood pressure, which is necessary in order to filter and inject water from the outside ocean of water into the inside ocean of water.
One cause of high blood pressure is a lack of fresh water for the inside ocean of the cell according to Dr Batman. We call it hypertension.
Dr Batman says if a person will walk (exercise), drink more plain water (in the place of coffee, tea, soda) and add just a little more salt (not sodium) to their diet, their blood pressure will normalize again.
*How much salt should you take?*
Dr Batman suggests we use…
* *1/8 tsp* (3/4 g) *of salt* (unrefined sea salt is best) *for every 16 oz *(half a liter) *of water we drink*… ˝ tsp of salt for every half a gallon of water and a full tsp of salt for one gallon of water.
*Note:* If a person is not going to the bathroom at least three times per day, they should check with their doctor first before drinking more water and using more salt.
Your kidneys must be working properly. This means…the amount of liquid you drink should be almost equal to the amount of urine you are eliminating every day.
At the same time, going to the bathroom to frequently (to many trips) per day will pull very important vitamins, minerals and electrolytes out of your body and can cause more harm than good.
Salt can be very harmful to the human body… /_if the proper amount of plain water is not taken with it_/ to keep the proper balance of electrolytes.
You should be very careful when adding more plain water to your diet. Add it very slowly so that the water will not act as a diuretic causing you to lose your electrolytes and become ill (dehydrated).
The body must adjust to drinking plain water after drinking coffee, tea and soda containing caffeine, because they contain caffeine or other chemicals that cause the body to work in a different mode.
Just like you have to keep filling up the gas tank in a car or it stop’s running, the body works the same way. You must drink water at regular intervals throughout the day because our body does not have a “gas tank” to draw from.
When you drink plain water the body uses what it needs right away and what it doesn’t need goes to the kidneys and out of the body.
If a person has some swelling (edema) that is not from an injury or surgery and wants to get rid of it, Dr B says water can be used as a /natural diuretic/ providing their kidneys and heart are working ok.
When we drink enough water to pass clear urine, we also pass out a lot of the salt that was held in the body.
*There are four suggested ways to take the salt* **
1. The first way is to just coat the front part of your tongue with the salt, making sure that you taste the salt, and then drink the water over the salt, washing it down.
2. You could also just put the extra salt on your food. The only problem with that is acquiring a taste for very salty food.
3. If you are very salt-sensitive then you would get some empty capsules and put the amount of salt you require into the capsules and take it with food.
4. Mixing salt into the water for drinking is not a very good idea. Only young children and seniors that are having trouble remembering things should mix 1/8 tsp of salt into 16 oz of plain water and drink their water this way until they start remembering things again.
*Another medical doctor’s point of view*
Dr David Brownstein, in his book “Salt your way to health”, said he was taught in medical school that salt causes high blood pressure and everybody should be on a low-salt diet. While treating his patients, he started to notice the ones who had high blood pressure received very little benefit from a low-salt diet. Most of them were also low on minerals.
In his search for ways to help these patients he came across unrefined salt. By suggesting that his patients should use unrefined salt, which has over 80 trace minerals in it, he noticed something strange start to happen.
His patients with high blood pressure were finding that their blood pressure was actually coming down. To the point they could come off of their medications.
Dr Brownstein, MD has a current medical practice at Center for Holistic Medicine, West Bloomfield, MI 48323 (www.drbrownstein.com). Dr Brownstein’s book, “Salt your way to health” will show you how adding the right kind of salt to your diet can help: adrenal disorders, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, fatigue, headaches, immune system function and thyroid disorders.
1 – Alderman, M. Low urinary sodium is associated with greater risk of myocardial infarction among treated hypertensive men. Hypertension. 1995;25:1144-1152
2 – Ruppert, M. et al. Short term dietary sodium restriction increases serum lipids and insulin in Salt-sensitive and salt resistant normotensive adults. Klin Wochenschr. 1991;69:(suppl. XXV):51-57)
3 – Am. J. of Hypertension. 1991;4:410-415
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