I get a lot of questions about salt. With all the information that is hitting us at every waking moment, it can get a little confusing. There has been a lot of controversy and differing opinions from both the medical and fitness communities.
My opinions, when it comes to salt, align with those of Paul Chek, my favorite holistic health practitioner. (By the way, if you are looking for a great book on all things holistic health, get his book “How to Eat Move and Be Healthy” – it’s my favorite nutrition and lifestyle book of all time.)
While salt, also known as sodium chloride, has gotten a bad rap over the years, it actually is a very necessary element of our health. Here’s what Paul has to say:
- Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells of the body, particularly the brain cells.
- Salt aids in balancing blood sugar levels.
- Salt is needed for the absorption of food particles through the intestines.
- Salt clears the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in those suffering from asthma or cystic fibrosis.
- Salt is a strong, natural antihistamine.
- Salt can aid in the prevention of muscle cramps.
- Salt is needed in order to make the structure of the bones firm.
Wow. That’s a lot of important stuff, thanks Paul!
Here’s the thing… you don’t benefit from just any salt. There is a BIG difference between refined (typical table salt) and unrefined (natural sea salt). In fact, most of the research shows that too much refined salt is bad.
Refined salt has added anti-caking agents (some of which are aluminum-based = toxic). Let’s just say that they add all sorts of shit you don’t want to consume.
Natural salt either comes from the land or sea. The best natural salt (according to my man, Paul) is Celtic Sea Salt because of its trace minerals. Trace minerals hold many important regulatory and nutritional functions in the human body.
Paul suggests adding a pinch of natural sea salt to your water, as well as salting your food. This will help maintenance levels of electrolytes and help with energy. This is especially true for people who workout (athletes like you) because we sweat more than most. Doing so only applies to people who are eating a whole food based diet, because processed food has SO much refined salt.
So here’s the deal…
Try to eat a diet of 80% whole foods and season your food with unrefined sea salt. Drink lots of water – try and keep your pee light yellow most of the time. Add a pinch of unrefined sea salt to about a liter of water.
Boom. You should be good to go!
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