For many years, you have been told that salt causes high blood pressure (or hypertension, as your doctor may have named it). As is all too common when interpreting scientific results, this is only a fraction of the whole story, truncated down and generalized for the public to make it easy to understand. But to say that salt intake raises blood pressure is far from the whole truth. Today we will delve further into the story of salt, and why it is good for your health. If you want to know more, we recommend reading Sea Salt Ph Your Way to Health, by Dr. David Brownstein M.D.
To understand why low-salt or low-sodium diets have been widely promoted by medical organizations for the purpose of lowering blood pressure, it is helpful to go back to the very first study that established a connection between salt and hypertension, which was published in 1904. This study found a correlation between salt deprivation and lowered blood pressure. Over the next 5 decades, animal studies were conducted to strengthen this hypothesis. In a majority of these studies, the animals were fed 10-20 times the recommended dosage of salt; and more importantly, they were only fed refined table salt, which is devoid of many important minerals and moisture (we will go more in-depth on this point in a moment).
The resulting conclusion linked the intake of salt to high blood pressure. However, this only occurred in extreme conditions and when the salt used lacked minerals and moisture. The reality is not so simple as salt = high blood pressure. Certainly, a low-sodium diet may help certain individuals with a sensitivity to salt, but this is not common. For most people, salt intake is important not only for health but for taste! However, we must be sure to use the right kind of salt. As we will discuss, unrefined salt is as different from refined table salt as night is from the day.
pH and the Body
The acidity of the body can be altered with the use of the right kind of sea salt ph. In general, it can be said that the more ill someone is, the more acidic their body is, and the lower their pH. When the body is too acidic or too alkaline, normal physiological functions begin to decline. The kidneys, liver, and brain begin to function less efficiently, important enzymes become deactivated, and immune cells lose their ability to protect us. High body acidity is associated with such illnesses as cancer (cancer cells grow best in acidic environments), arthritis, osteoporosis, Candida, and hormonal imbalances. Refined table salt mixed into water will lower its pH, making it more acidic. Conversely, unrefined salt raises the pH of water, making it more alkaline, and making it capable of neutralizing some of the acidity in the body. As a bonus, mosquitoes prefer acidic blood, so the more alkaline your blood is, the less likely they are to bite you.
Minerals and Moisture
When salt is refined into fine grain, it has been almost entirely “purified” of key minerals via chemical treatment, then stripped of all moisture using high pressure and heat. On one hand, this allows it to sit on the grocery shelf forever without going bad (since it is now a “lifeless” product, it can never spoil). On the other hand, it now lacks calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and many other minerals that fulfill critical tasks within the body. In addition to lacking these minerals, the refined salt also lacks moisture, which is normally absorbed into the salt to some degree during natural evaporation processes. This moisture contains up to 35 times the magnesium and potassium as the salt itself and is another source of these important minerals which is removed by the refining process.
Intracellular and Extracellular Water
We all know that the body is made up of approximately 70% water. This water is divided into water contained inside the cells of the body (intracellular water) and water outside of those cells (extracellular water). Extracellular water contains red and white blood cells, vitamins, and minerals; intracellular water houses the organelles of the cells. Normally, there exists a balance of sodium in the extracellular water and potassium in the intracellular water (a balance that is maintained using calcium and magnesium). When sodium is supplied without potassium, as in refined table salt, water is drawn out of the cells to balance the concentration of the sodium. This dehydrates the cells and causes waste products to build up in the cell and accelerates cell death. This dehydration is not solved with more water, as the problem lies in the concentration of mineral ions, and not the amount of water itself.
What can you do?
If this information seems overwhelming, do not worry! The easiest way to start introducing healthy salt is to purchase unrefined sea salt ph and add a teaspoon of it to 32oz of water (one standard Nalgene bottle). Simply by drinking one bottle of saltwater each day, you provide your body with key minerals it needs to re-establish balance in your body. The balance of pH, of your intracellular and extracellular water, and your blood pressure. As with all things concerning your health, we encourage you to see a medical professional to learn more about your specific needs. To know more about this subject, we recommend reading Salt Your Way to Health by Dr. David Brownstein, M.D.