Salt amazing health benefits includes supporting healthy digestion, facilitating body movement, supporting heart health, helps prevent iodine deficiency, an important element of rehydration, helps reduces diabetes risk, promotes good oral health, improves respiratory health, decrease appetite, helps remove toxins, support normal blood pressure, and help maintain normal blood pH.
What is Salt?
Salt has been around for millennia. Arguably, it has been around so long, that a part of our tongue is dedicated to detecting this substance, and evolutionary trait that takes millennia to develop. Regardless. Even though this substance, also known as sodium chloride, has been around such a long time, and continues to be an important part of our diets today, it has gotten a bad rep owing to its overconsumption.
Even through our best efforts to restrict this seasoning may yield results, it is virtually impossible to eliminate it completely, as it is found in so many foods as preservatives or flavoring agents, nor is it truly advisable to do so.
Why? Because salt retains important functions towards our health. Many people take it for granted nowadays, so maybe it warrants an explanation of what is can do for our health.
1. Salt Is Integrally Involved In Digestion
At this point you may be wondering how exactly does salt contribute to digestion, and this is a valid point. However, it takes a little deeper dive to understand how this happens. The primary substance that kick starts digestion in the stomach is hydrochloric acid (HCl), which to be produced requires the presence of hydrogen and chlorine ions. Salt is essentially composed of sodium and chloride ions, which upon ingestion is broken up into constituent parts and reused where it is needed. Though it rarely occurs, deficiency of salt would inhibit digestion as a side effect.
2. Essential For Good Heart Conduction
While the heart has its own pacemaker cells, there are things beyond them which control their function. For example, sodium ions help in the transmission of electrical impulses, so that these cells are stimulated to transmit signals to cardiac cells to beat. Though it shares this responsibility with potassium ions, its importance cannot be overlooked.
3. Necessary To Facilitate Body Movement
In similar manner to the heart, but much more directly, sodium helps propagate the transmission of electrical impulses from the nerves to the muscles, to allow contraction and movement. Without these stimuli, movement would be impossible, and typically take years to develop. This is why children take much longer to develop fine motor skills, since transmission in weaker at this stage.
4. Helps To Prevent Iodine Deficiency
While iodine is not a part of salt, today it is basically standard fare for all table salt produced to be enriched with iodine, solving a major problem afflicting a large population of the world. Poorer countries especially may not have the luxury of iodized salt, and find themselves deficient in this important micro mineral. Iodine plays important roles in metabolism and healthy cellular function, also being important to pregnant mothers in order to ensure the health brain development of the unborn child.
5. An Important Element Of Rehydration
Rehydration does not merely involve drinking water, but also the mineral salts that regulate electrolyte balance. When we sweat we lose water and electrolytes, so we must ensure that we rehydrate with an ideally isotonic solution of sodium, magnesium and potassium ions along with water. Use of water alone would cause a scenario known as water intoxication.
6. Helps To Reduce Diabetes Risk
Many people do not know, but sodium plays an important role in maintaining the sensitivity of insulin towards blood glucose. In addition to magnesium, sodium also helps to ensure that insulin functions as intended, and clears glucose in a timely manner. Type 2 diabetics suffer from reduced insulin sensitivity often, with poor glucose control a result.
7. A Salt Water Gargle Can Promote Good Oral Health
A salt water gargle is one of the simplest remedies for maintaining good oral health, being able to clear excessive bacteria from the mouth and reducing the impact they have on health. salt water gargles can be used to managing strep throat, canker sores (also known as mouth ulcers), as well as reducing the likelihood of developing gingivitis or for managing toothaches. Some toothpastes even use salt as an ingredient for whitening, since micronized sized molecules can help to whiten teeth.
8. Can Improve Respiratory Health
Salt is a unique compound that possesses anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and mucolytic properties, which helps promote the health of our respiratory system significantly. Though not many people know this, inhaling ultrapure micronized salt into the nostril can elicit these effects in the lungs. This technique is known as halotherapy, and has shown potential in reducing allergies and managing asthma.
9. Can Decrease Your Appetite
Though since has pondered on it for years, there is evidence that shows the flavor we are yearning for can help suppress you appetite once supplied. Case in point, there are times that you crave something salty, or something sweet on the flip side. These cravings are usually met with junk food, which supply numerous calories that do nothing for our body. Consumption of a simple salt water drink could suppress your cravings and hunger for that taste, and save you endless calories in the process. It is believed that our various cravings re reflective of a nutrient need we have on a cellular level.
10. Has Excellent Exfoliant Properties
If you are looking for an effective, cheap and eco-friendly exfoliating scrub that can clear your pores and help prevent pimples. Thanks to the anti-bacterial nature of salt, it achieves two things by removing debris from cells and killing bacteria that cause inflamed pimples. Use a few times weekly to keep your face clean.
11. Helps Remove Toxins
Soaking your feet in a salt water solution for a period of time is quickly catching on as a health trend, as toxins appear to diffuse from the blood to the salt solution that you are using as a soak. The salt water mixture allegedly becomes very nasty after a period of time, indicative of the potential of this treatment.
12. Necessary For Normal Blood Pressure
While it is true that high intakes of salt negatively affect blood pressure, you would be wrong to think that we can absolutely remove it from our diet. Electrolyte balance needs to be maintained, via the consumption of both sodium and potassium rich foods. Using table salt in your meals (while keeping an eye on your intake) is the best way to regulate blood pressure.
13. Helps Maintain Normal Blood pH
Salt is naturally of a neutral pH, which is what our bodies are ideally looking for. Though our normal pH is slightly alkaline, consumption of many neutral foods helps to maintain that balance. This is important to the brain as well, as small alterations to pH could be lethal.
14. Helps To Normalize Cholesterol
Research has found that diets low in salt correspond to highest levels of blood lipid dysfunction, indicating another important function of it. Low salt consumption is noteworthy in increasing levels of the bad cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides.
15. Can Improve The Condition Of The Skin
A salt paste can be used to relieve inflammation and itching associated with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It can also be applied to wounds to discourage infection with bacteria.
It would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of salt in our diets, even though most of its newsworthy headlines relate to it causing hypertension, and nothing else. Everything in moderation, with salt being no exception to the rule. Follow dietary guidelines and it can be one of the healthiest substances in your diet.