Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note, where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health. This week, we are going to talk about why you might need a little more salt in your diet.
One reason I want to talk about this is that at the time of writing this note, it’s been extremely hot. It’s been humid and muggy, and like many of you I’ve been sweating a lot when outside.
At times I’ve felt fatigued and some brain fog while outside. A lot of this had to do with lacking salt and being dehydrated.
Salt is essential. It’s gotten some bad press (refined salt) and been talked about in a negative light, but it’s actually very good for you (unrefined salt).
If you’re not drinking and taking in enough salt, you will upset a lot of your bodily functions. You’ll get dehydrated.
You need salt to help your body absorb the water you drink. If you only drink water, what you’ll end up doing is depleting your sodium levels.
Humans need salt.
Refined versus Unrefined
Refined salt is the problem. When you hear bad things about salt, what they’re talking about is refined salt. This type of salt is stripped down of all of the good stuff that’s in salt naturally.
Your average table salt is depleted of everything except sodium chloride. What they do is heat it up to 1200 degrees, and the intense heating process makes the salt chemically dead.
To make it edible they use additives like fluoride and synthetic iodine. They also add a caking agent, and to make it white they bleach it. They also put a form of cyanide and aluminum in it too.
The salt that you need is unrefined sea salt. And just for clarification, don’t only look for sea salt. Make sure it’s “unrefined” sea salt. There’s two forms I like: Himalayan and Celtic Salt.
Also note that your salt shouldn’t be white. Himalayan salt is a pinkish color, and the Celtic salt is a grayish color.
This type of salt is very good for you. It helps with:
- Digestion (Helps the stomach acid to work better)
- Reduces inflammation
- Promotes better sleep
- Acts as a detoxifier of harmful bacteria
- Bone health
- Skin health
- Keep hydration in your body
The main message of this note is that if you’re experiencing muscle cramps or just real hot, add salt to your diet.
Salt and hypertension: What you need to know
One thing you probably have heard a lot about is that too much salt can cause high blood pressure. The thing about this is that only 20% of people are susceptible to that kind of salt induced hypertension. The hypertension is bad and you should watch your blood pressure, but most of it is caused by refined salt. Not the unrefined salts we are talking about.
It’s a mistake to say that all salt causes hypertension.