Although salt is the most common seasoning for many foods, many people view salt as an enemy because of the link between salt and high blood pressure. Yes, studies show that too much sodium can wreak havoc on our bodies, but this mineral can have some surprising benefits.
One of the lesser known indicators of whole-body health and wellness is your pH level. pH is measured on a scale between 0 and 14, with “14” being highly alkaline and “0” being highly acidic. Your body is designed to maintain an alkaline blood pH of 7.4. This pH level is controlled by the lungs, which remove carbon dioxide through respiration, and the kidneys, which remove metabolic acids through your urine.
When your blood pH is too acidic (below a pH of 7.35), you begin to enter acidosis. You may suffer from symptoms such as fatigue, confusion, shortness of breath, lack of an appetite, or an increased heart rate.1 Over time, if your blood pH stays in this acidic range, these symptoms and conditions can worsen. Likewise, if your blood becomes too alkaline (over a pH of 7.45), you may be losing too much water and valuable electrolytes (salt and minerals).2
So, where does salt come in? Adding small amounts of high-quality, high-mineral salt to drinking water can help you maintain an ideal alkaline balance. Sea salt can help manage water balance inside and outside of cells, helping to extract toxic wastes from cell metabolism.3 Top quality sea salt that is made without any added preservatives or clumping agents can also contain as many as 80 trace minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, that the body needs to maintain its best health. These powerful benefits can only be achieved through consuming an excellent source of salt that has been air-dried and does not contain questionable man-made ingredients, such as anti-caking agents.4
The good news? You may be already consuming adequate amounts of salt in your diet. Your body requires sodium (as found in salt) to be able to conduct nerve impulses along nerve pathways, to contract and relax muscle fibers, and to maintain healthy fluid balance. However, it doesn’t take very much sodium to keep these processes moving. U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend around 2,400 mg of sodium per day for the average person. Unfortunately, many Americans easily surpass this amount of salt intake due to the heavy use of salt in processed and packaged foods. It is a good idea to cut back your salt intake if it is over 10,000 mg of sodium daily.
But the quality of your salt also matters. Salt often contains cheap sodium silocaluminate or magnesium carbonate additives. These chemicals are used to prevent the salt crystals from sticking to one another and clumping, but these undesirable chemicals can burden your liver’s detox pathways and stress your overall health.
Choosing a healthy salt source that is plentiful in natural trace minerals means looking for a product that is sourced from the sea, and then sun dried (rather than highly heated in ovens which can damage the salt’s molecular structure). This type of pure sea salt will be free of additives and will contain a healthier source of beneficial sodium and associated trace minerals.
- Allen, Suzanne. “Acidosis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment for Blood PH Levels.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 Oct. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/acidosis#symptoms.
- Iftikhar, Noreen. “What's a Normal Blood PH and What Makes It Change?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 16 Aug. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/ph-of-blood#causes-of-abnormalities.
- “The Alkalizing Benefits of Salt - Alkalizing The Body With Salt.” The Chalkboard, 24 Apr. 2019, thechalkboardmag.com/alkalizing-101-the-truth-about-salt-for-your-health.
- “Interesting Facts.” Interesting Facts about Mineral Sea Salt - Oriel Sea Salt, orielseasalt.com/interesting-facts.html.