by Kimberly Allen, RN
As more and more people are becoming more health conscious and concerned about the foods they consume “organic” and “natural” products are becoming more and more popular. One of those ‘natural’ products that is growing in popularity is sea salt. Sea salt is derived naturally from the sea and then dried in the sun. It goes through very little processing so the natural make up of the salt is not altered. Unlike regular table salt which is mined from under ground salt deposits. It is then refined and processed giving it a fine texture. This processing removes all the minerals from the salt. The iodine is then replaced with a type of iodine called potassium iodide. The body is unable to use this form of iodine where as the iodine that occurs naturally in sea salt can be used readily by your body. manufacturers also add aluminum compounds that gives table salt that “when it rains, it pours” ability just like the commercial says. Aluminum is considered a heavy metal and is toxic to the human body. However, as far as sodium content according to experts there is no difference in the sodium content. Both sea salt and regular table salt have the same sodium content by weight.
Another thing that makes sea salt so attractive to people seeking “natural: alternatives in their diet is the discovery of the health benefits it has. Sea salt has been shown to lower your blood pressure and regulate your heart beat as well as lower your cholesterol levels. Also, because sea salt has not been exposed to high heat it is alkalizing to your body. This helps prevent, even reverse high acid levels in your body therefore significantly reducing your risk for serious and life threatening conditions. Sea salt also help you strengthen your immune system which helps you to fight off colds and flu as well as allergies, even certain autoimmune disorders. Another benefit of sea salt that many aren’t aware of is that sea salt cal also help with weight loss. It assists your body in producing digestive juices therefore when you eat the food is digested faster. It also inhibits buildup in your digestive tract that can eventually lead to constipation as well as weight gain. Taking a bath in sea salt can relieve dry and itchy skin associated with conditions like psoriasis and eczema. It opens your pores improves the circulation to your skin hydrating it so that it can heal. Sea salt has also been shown to reduce inflammation in your respiratory system. This slows the production of phlegm making it easier to breathe. Drinking water with sea salt can reduce high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure as well as help regulate your heart beat. Which in turn helps to prevent atherosclerosis as well as heart attacks and strokes. Also, as sea salt can help your body to maintain appropriate glucose levels. It helps lower your body’s need for insulin and should be a part of any diabetics diet. Sea salt has also been shown to help in preventing muscle spasms and osteoporosis. It also helps maintain serotonin and melatonin two essential hormones that help you relax and sleep better as well as cope with stress.
Though there are some nay sayers that claim there is no difference in nutritional value between sea salt and regular table salt as well as no difference in sodium content the fact is sea salt is naturally obtained and not processed. It keeps it’s mineral value while table salt mined from the ground has synthetic additives including heavy metals. This begs the question is it the sodium in the salt or the artificial additives that causes the health issues related to salt?
Kimberly Allen is a registered nurse with an AND in nursing. She has worked in ACF, LCF and psychiatric facilities, although she spent most of her career as a home health expert. She is now a regular contributor to HealthAndFitnessTalk.com, dispensing advice and knowledge about medical issues and questions. You can reach her with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.