For the last 40 years or so, salt has been getting a really bad reputation. Many people are terrified of salting their food, and actually think salt is UNHEALTHY for you.
Time for MYTH BUSTING!! The body needs salt and the electrolytes it provides. (This article first appeared in FHA – Family Health Advocacy in January 2017) http://familyhealthadvocacy.com/in-praise-of-salt/
The body needs salt and the electrolytes it provides.
Salt, NaCl, is an ionic compound made of sodium and chloride ions. It has been important to humans for thousands of years, because all life has evolved to depend on it.
Humans, like all life, need dietary salt to survive. Salt’s ability to preserve food was a founding contributor to all civilization. It helped to eliminate dependence on seasonal availability of food, and made it possible to ship some foods over long distances. (Think preserves, pickling food etc).
However, salt was difficult to obtain, so it was a highly valued trade item, and considered a form of currency by certain peoples. In fact the Roman historian Pliny the Elder stated as an aside in his Natural History’s discussion of sea water, that “in Rome … the soldier’s pay was originally salt and the word ‘salary’ derives from it …”
I was one of these people, rarely used salt except maybe to salt the water for my gluten free pasta noodles. But I found out this summer how much my body really loves salt, when friends invited us out to swim in their salt water pool. We took my 90 year old mother, my daughter and son for a daily 30 minute swim. Mum’s wrinkles softened, her body thrived, her aches and pains disappeared … and all she did was float and soak.
My daughter’s persistent rashes disappeared, and her skin felt like silk. At first we thought it was because we were enjoying the sun – Barrie summers are so short – but we didn’t get the same results in a chlorine pool at all.
By the end of October, my body was missing our beautiful swims, not just because I missed the exercise, but it missed the salt waters healing properties!!
Epsom salt baths didn’t feel quite the same (my tub’s not big enough to splash around in, and I am too impatient to sit around idle in a tub, I prefer to shower). Since my skin was getting dry I tried an experiment … mixing salt with my favorite moisturizer – coconut oil. I’ve never liked commercial moisturizers because parabens make itch and inflame my skin). The result was: An amazingly effective and gentle exfoliant. At 62 years of age my skin is smooth, and almost entirely wrinkle free. I do not even need to moisturize afterwards! My daughter loves it too.
I used different salts till I found the right texture. Sea salt took too long to melt and was course, Himalayan salt was too rough and didn’t melt at all, but my favorite believe it or not is normal Sifto or Windsor salt. It melts quickly and isn’t abrasive, and most people are somewhat thyroid deficient in Ontario anyway so the fact that it is iodized is just fine, and I mixed it with coconut oil, added a dash of my favorite essential oil/aroma i.e calming lavender or rose, zesty tangerine or lemon to wake me up in the mornings.
Try it… I’m positive you will love it! Your body and senses will thank you. And your kids and significant other will comment on the silky smoothness of your skin.
By the way, if you have really sensitive skin use baking soda instead of salt, it’s very finely ground, and melts easily too, this is my daughter’s favourite facial scrub. You do not need a lot; a little goes a long way.
Worried about salt ingestion? Actually all the hoopla we listen to has been proven to be outdated and a result of faulty conclusions to data accumulated in the 1940’s. It comes from a time when everyone ate canned goods preserved with salt. Now we have refrigerators and we are more health conscious and eat fresh. Enjoy, but don’t overdo the pretzels and potato chips.