You'd think a product whose label depicts a woman standing under an umbrella during pretty lousy weather would be an indicator not to eat whatever's inside. You know the image. It's one of the more iconic brands out there, found in virtually every home in America. Contents: iodized salt.
Salt is essential to our diet, though, do we really know why? We crave it, and too much is supposed to be bad for us. Women have likely heard that horrific warning that a pickle equals a pound, especially during certain times of the month when we're like cranky sponges. Add a little salt to the mix and we become as puffy as the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Maybe that rainy weather image is accurate after all.
The truth is, salt is important. Low-sodium diets are combating the effects of eating too much bad salt. The processed white sodium chloride chemical stuff is not really the salt we need, but we need salt. Confused?
Before medicine, before preservatives, before Extreme Nachos, there was Salt. It is a curative, a medicine, and a flavor enhancer. It is also a crucial nutrient. Our blood is 1% salt solution. Salt provides every mineral and trace mineral, stabilizes blood pressure, aids in nutrient absorption, clears mucous, improves sleep, extracts acidity, boosts mood, prevents gout, improves sex drive and builds muscle tone. Salt does all this and more. The other stuff actually causes problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and inflammation throughout the body.
From the Organic Authority Files
While there is no organic certification yet for salt (it's a mineral and not a living food according to the USDA), you can improve your health by getting off of the white salt (including sea salt), and choosing unrefined mineral salts.
Real salt is typically not white. It may be pink, grey, or even black. This "organic salt" is loaded with minerals—that's what gives it the color. It is flavorful, as any chef will tell you. It is a medicine. Gargle with it to prevent cavities and bad breath. Flush out your eyes and nose to prevent colds and flu; soak in it to treat sore muscles, and when you eat it, you re-mineralize your body.
If you're craving more information, there's a pretty rad movie called "The Saltmen of Tibet" worth checking out. It's a beautiful film depicting salt's history as both a currency and commodity, shedding light on its profound importance to humanity.
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Photo by: Alicia Nijdam