In health care since 1977, but keenly aware of Western medicine's shortcomings, Rose Mary began exploring natural health in the late 1990s.
One of the components of the Body Ecology Diet is using nutrient rich mineral salts, free of pollutants, and free of refining and the addition of chemical preservatives and additives. Unlike common table salt, natural salts provide tremendous health benefits through minerals and trace minerals.
I have previously written an article overviewing The Body Ecology Diet (BED). This plan seeks to restore health through good nutrition, rebalancing the body’s internal environment. Weight loss is a pleasant side effect to the BED. The cover of The Body Ecology Diet carries this statement: “A must-read for anyone who wants to be healthy or who is exhausted, overweight or has digestive problems, candida, viral infections, cancer or neurological disorders such as ADD, Autism, Alzheimer’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.”
I have also written about other key components of the Body Ecology Diet: alternate grains, cultured vegetables, and nutrient rich sea vegetables.
Alarmingly High Levels of Salt in our Diets
It is pretty well known that the American Medical Association (AMA) is alarmed about the public’s consumption of sodium, of which common table salt is the most common source. You may not pick up the salt shaker much, but if you eat packaged, prepared or processed foods, you are consuming high quantities of sodium. Salt is a preservative, and extends the “shelf life” of foods.
High quantities of salt is used in boxed foods, envelop foods, container foods, and canned foods. This would include hamburger and tuna helpers, flavored noodles and rice side dishes, canned soups, and Ramen noodles. There are plenty of hidden salts in frozen foods as well, such as frozen breaded meats, main dishes, side dishes, and individual frozen dinners.
The recommended range of salt per day is 500 to 2000 mg. Check out the label of Ramen noodles or Campbell’s soup, and you likely will have already hit the mark. You can easily take in 500 mg of salt from a serving of canned soup. And Ramen noodles? How about 1600 mg?!
Restaurant food is another source of hidden sodium. I rarely pick up the salt shaker to add salt to prepared food, at home or elsewhere. While I don’t add salt to restaurant food, I also don’t usually think “Wow, this is really salty.” Yet restaurant food usually is salty. I definitely notice that I drink more water than usual for several hours after a restaurant meal.
All this considered, it’s no wonder that medical and nutritional experts are concerned about how much salt most of us are consuming, which is estimated to be an average of 4000 to 6000 mg per day, to as high as 6000 to 10,000 mg a day! So what do we do? We buy more fresh vegetables and meats, and prepare meals ourselves, using a variety of herbs, spices, and natural, unrefined salts.
All Salts Are Not the Same- The Ugly Truth About Table Salt
Sodium chloride, which is what is left after salt is chemically cleaned, is the primary ingredient of table salt. This is not a natural form of salt that the body recognizes as good, or helpful. The chemical cleaning process strips sodium chloride of an estimated 60 important trace minerals. The body considers table salt “foreign” and unhealthy. Then manufacturers add additional substances that are harmful to the body. Why have we done this? Some would say, to make the salt that comes to our tables (and gets added in huge quantities to prepared foods) clean and safe. The other major factor is the addition of chemical additives to make salt pour better without clumping and stopping up our shakers!
Unfortunately, what comes across, is that the AMA is against all salt. The body needs sodium for good function. Sodium is the main “ingredient” of the fluid in and around our body’s cells, and helps transport nutrients into our cells. Sodium is crucial in the regulation of our fluid balance and blood pressure.
Many people have concluded from what they have been told by their doctors that salt causes high blood pressure. This may be true, given that to most doctors and their patients, salt means common table salt. Alternative Medicine health care providers concede this point. Common table salt is in no way good for the body. This chemically cleaned substance, requires tremendous amounts of energy for the body to try to metabolize, and “neutralize”. Table salt can disrupt the ideal fluid balance in the body and overload our elimination systems. So yes, table salt can contribute to high blood pressure. Excess fluid in our tissues may also contribute to cellulite, arthritis, kidney stones, and gall stones.
Commercial producers of table salt have added potentially toxic preservatives like magnesium carbonate, calcium carbonate, and aluminum hydroxide, which make salt easier to pour. Aluminum hydroxide is particularly concerning, as aluminum deposits in the brain, and may be linked with Alzheimer’s.
Health Benefits of Salt
Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, MD, is an internationally renowned author and researcher. He explains that salt does not raise blood pressure, and is not bad for you. It is deficiency in other minerals, that when present, would hold on to fluids, and keep it within our cells, that causes high blood pressure. He also notes salt stabilizes heartbeat irregularities.
Dr. B and many other experts agree the water in our bodies is very similar to sea water. In addition to blood pressure and heart advantages, Dr. B notes many other benefits of salt. Salt:
- is a strong antiseptic and antihistamine
- extracts excess acidity from our cells, especially our brain cells
- is necessary for the kidneys to excrete excess acid in the urine
- is crucial in the treatment of emotional and affective disorders
- is vital in cancer prevention and treatment
- helps regulate sleep
- helps balance blood sugar, and decreases the need for insulin
Trace Minerals in Natural Salt
We no longer get the nutrients, particularly trace minerals, from our diets that our ancestors did. Commercial farming techniques strip the soil of nutrients. Key mineral missing from our modern diets include silver, gold, copper, tin, and lithium. Natural salts are a source of abundant trace minerals.
Not All Natural Salts are the Same
Some sea salts are harvested from areas such as France or Portugal, with the same methods used hundreds of years ago. Some “sea” salts are actually from ancient dried up sea beds. Other natural salts are mined rock salt.
Unscrupulous companies have taken advantage of the public interest in vitamins and supplements, producing products geared toward profits, not quality products to improve health. Similarly, companies are starting to apply manufacturing practices to natural salts that are similar to table salt processing.
Some salts may be chemically cleaned and oven dried, rendering the end result no more beneficial to the body than common table salt. Another problem is pollution. Even if a sea salt is cleaned and dried by time honored methods, with no chemicals or ovens, the product is not healthy if the starting point was polluted salt water.
Experts recommend sea salt, or other mineral salts that are known to be pure, and free of pollutants.
Basic Principles of The Body Ecology Diet
Mineral Rich Salts Recommended by the Body Ecology Diet
The Body Ecology Diet recommends mineral rich natural salts. Salts are “contracting” foods that balance “expanding” foods such as butter, oils, and vegetables. Salt is “alkalizing”, and good for balancing acid forming foods like meats. When our internal environment is too acidic, it is more hospitable to diseases, including cancer.
The Body Ecology Diet specifically recommends Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt, Celtic Sea Salt® and Real Salt®.
Dr Mercola talks about the benefits of Himalayan Salt
Himalayan Pink salt is harvested from ancient sea beds. Dr. Joseph Mercola of the respected health website Mercola.com, recommends Himalayan Crystal Salt as the purest mineral salt on earth, free of pollutants. He says Himalayan Crystal Salt contains all of the 84 elements found in our bodies. Its crystal form is optimal for easy assimilation by the body. Dr. Mercola identifies the benefits of this natural Himalayan pink salt:
- Regulates water content in the body
- Promotes optimal pH balance in our cells, especially brain cells
- Promotes optimal blood sugar
- Reduces the signs of age
- Generates hydroelectric energy in the cells
- Promotes absorption of food nutrients in the intestines
- Supports the respiratory system
- Supports sinus health
- Prevents muscle cramps
- Promotes bone strength
- Regulates sleep
- Supports libido
- Promotes vascular health
- Helps regulate blood pressure
Benefits of Celtic Sea Salt
Celtic Sea Salt
Celtic Sea Salt® is from the coastal region of France, harvested by salt farmers know as paludiers, in Brittany, one of the most pristine areas on earth. It is harvested by hand, and unprocessed.
Celtic Sea Salt® is dried by wind and sun. It retains the moisture of the ocean, as well as the numerous crucial trace mineral elements. It has a pale gray color from the clay soil it is harvested from. Celtic Sea Salt®, as well as their Hawaiian Deep Sea Salt and Portuguese Sea Salt are all certified kosher.
Real Salt® is the result of a Jurassic Era dried sea bed near Salt Lake City, Utah, sealed from pollution by ancient volcanic ash. It is mined without chemical processing. It contains over 50 naturally occurring trace minerals including iodine. Real Salt® is certified kosher.
Other Mineral Rich Salts
- Kala Namak Indian Black Salt
- Fleur de Sell, Flower of the Ocean
- Hawaiian Deep Sea Salt
- Hawaiian Black Lava salt
- Hawaiian Red Alaea
- Portuguese Sea Salt
- Aguni Japanese
- Peruvian pink sea salt
- Australian Pink
Talk to Your Health Care Provider
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you think you might want to try The Body Ecology Diet, pick up a copy of the book, and do your homework, including talking to your doctor.
The American Medical Association’s campaign against the consumption of salt overlooks the health benefits of unrefined sea salt and trace minerals.
Learn why you should avoid using common table salt and should use mineral rich unrefined salts instead.
Explore the amazing healing power and other benefits of sea salt.
Traditional table salt has harmful additives. Choose sea salt, a healthy source of sodium and trace minerals.
© 2010 rmcrayne
Chuck Bluestein from Morristown, AZ, USA on February 20, 2017:
The problem with salt is that it has too much sodium. You know that. These other salts have too much sodium. A teaspoon of any salt has more sodium than a hundred pounds of unprocessed foods. How is salt different from pepper, amaranth, ginger, rosemary, thyme, turmeric, garlic, cayenne, alfalfa and oregano? Salt is not a food like rust or chalk.
Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on August 13, 2016:
We use Peruvian pink salt, which is easily available here. It's mined from ancient sea beds in Maras, just outside of Cusco, high in the Andes mountains. I appreciate all the benefits of sea salt that you mention. It makes me want to become a salt collector! So many interesting varieties to try.
candidacounsel from USA on October 01, 2011:
It helps to get a better understanding of the different kinds of salts available and which ones are healthy for us. Not all salt is created equal.
rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on April 15, 2011:
Thanks Ingenira. I definitely had a fascination with The Body Ecology Diet and its philosophy.
Ingenira on April 01, 2011:
Wow, a really comprehensive write-up !
I have been using Himalayan and Celtic Sea Salt for a few years. It is definitely better than the normal table salt.
rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on January 24, 2011:
thanks for reading easyfreerecipes.
easyfreerecipes from Atlanta, GA on January 11, 2011:
never really thought about table salt as bad for me, very interested in getting a replacement! thanks
rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on April 04, 2010:
Money, that Dr. Oz is A-OK for an MD! I love the way he presents Natural remedies.
Good to know about the Himalayan inhaler. Great to ditch that Flonase! I've snorted many things up my nose over the years, both steroidal and non-steroidal. You know Flonase is one of those things that has to be in your system, and is not a prn medication, right?
Money Glitch from Texas on April 01, 2010:
Great info RM, I started using the Himalayan salt inhaler a few weeks ago after seeing it on Dr. Oz's show. And I can tell you that it does help to regulate water retention in the body, and definitely acts as antihistamine.
I've only used Flonase once since I've started using the inhaler verses before having to use it every day as well as Zyrtec. Needless to say, I'm excited it is working so well. Thanks for providing great info on other benefits. :)
rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 30, 2010:
Paradise I buy the bulk sea salt from Sun Harvest, but have long wondered about it. It is as "dry" and pours as easily as Morton's.
Especially if you consume LOTS of salt, I think I would get some of the Celtic, Himalayan or Real Salt. I get lots of stuff online. I was going to add Amazon capsules later. They have them. Also check out some of the links above.
Paradise7 from Upstate New York on March 29, 2010:
Very interesting hub. I ingest A LOT of salt...I like everything very salty. I have switched already to Sea Salt; I certainly hope that suffices since the other kinds of salt you mentioned don't seem to be available here. I should check online, maybe...
The Himilayan Pink Salt sounds like the winner, to me, OR the REAL SALT.