Are you still avoiding salt due to fears surrounding hypertension and heart disease? Do your meals end up a bit bland, but you sleep better at night knowing you didn’t overindulge on sodium?
If so, we’re sorry to tell you that some of these fears may be unfounded… as long as you’re choosing the right salt.
As we’ve reported before,
many of the detriments that have been associated with salt may have to
do with the fact that most Americans dine on processed, refined salt,
which can include additives and even chlorine. This is a far cry from
real, unrefined sea salt, which provides the body with important
Real salt is absolutely necessary to
human life. In fact, diets with too low of a sodium content may lead to
hyponatremia, which can be characterized by brain swelling, kidney
damage, headaches, confusion, and even coma.
While we’re not saying to run out and eat piles and piles of the
stuff, when you’re using real unrefined salt, it’s hard to get too much,
unless you’re really trying. The health benefits it provides —
minerals, supporting fluid balance, transporting nutrients, and
maintaining blood pressure, to name a few — make it worthy of its place
on your plate.
We’ve long known that unprocessed salt is very healthy for us. However, a new study recently published in the journal Cell Press sheds light on yet another benefit of salt: it may help protect the body against infection.
This study came about when researchers noticed that mice that had
been bitten, and contracted infections, had higher sodium levels in
their skin. Then, through experimentation, they discovered that the mice
fed high amounts of salt received a boost to the function of certain
immune system cells, known as macrophages.
According to the study’s first author, Jonathan Jantsch:
“Our current study… suggests that increasing salt accumulation at the
site of infections might be an ancient strategy to ward off infections,
long before antibiotics were invented.”
added, “We also think that local application of high-salt-containing
wound dressings and the development of other salt-boosting antimicrobial
therapies might bear therapeutic potential.”
Could salt really be a fighter against our planet’s worsening
epidemic of antibiotic resistance? It looks like a definite possibility.
As far as eating it — just say no to the processed stuff, and stick to
the real thing.
—The Alternative Daily