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Fun fact: Do you know that the word “salary” comes from the Latin word for salt because salt is how Roman soldiers were paid!

Nowadays, with the bad rap that salt has on blood pressure and the call for low salt intake, it is important to know that we actually NEED salt to live.

Salt helps to control our blood pressure and transmits important signals from our nerves to our muscle fibers. Too little salt can result in dehydration and too much salt can lead to us retaining too much fluid. This can lead to high blood pressure and hypertension and face health problems with our kidneys, liver or heart in the longer term.

You need to watch how much salt you eat and the type of salt you eat.

Guidelines from the American Heart Association states that we need 500 mg of salt per day to be healthy.

Important point to note is:

STAY AWAY from plain old refined table salt. This is the same salt you find in processed foods.

Refined table salt contains anti-caking agents linked to heavy metal toxicity and kidney problems. Sodium acetate is a common preservative in these refined salts which may cause elevated blood pressure and kidney disturbances.

So what is the safer alternative?

UNREFINED sea salt is better for you. It helps to balance your blood sugar, helps keep your bones strong, regulates your metabolism and boosts your immune system. More than 80 trace minerals found in the naturally filtered salt water used to create unrefined sea salt give it its vital grayish color, and its slight moistness keeps the salt and minerals in a form that the body can use.

When you go grocery shopping for salt, check the nutrotion label, it must say “unrefined” - some sea salts are still refined.

The Low Down on Salt:

Table Salt:
Table salt comes from deposits of salt that were from bodies of sea water that once existed, but do not exist anymore. After the salt is mined, it is dissolved in water to wash it, then evaporated using a vacuum so that crystals form.

All trace minerals and sediments are removed, and it is treated with substances that keep it from caking. Sometimes potassium iodide is added.

Sea Salt:

Sea salt comes from an existing body of sea water. It is created by using the sun to evaporate liquid or by using a faster vacuum process.

It can be refined or unrefined.

Refined sea salt is washed, taking away trace minerals and leaving it the same as table salt.Unrefined sea salt retains sediment and other trace minerals that give it more flavor and more health benefits.

Sea salt has many benefits over table salt.

It has not been rinsed of other elements, and that means that it contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and iodine important to your health.

The larger crystals of sea salt registers as a saltier taste on the human tongue, leading to using less and cutting sodium intake.

Epsom Salt:

Epsom Salt contains magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium regulates the activity of over 325 enzymes, reduces inflammation and helps muscle and nerve function as well as to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins, and help ease migraine headaches. It offers a health benefits such as constipation-reliever due to its high magnesium content as well as a migraine buster.

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Yours always in good health and happiness, 
Dr Dee Dee Mahmood (PhD) Regional Head, Regional Alumni Ambassador Network & Associate Senior Lecturer at Edith Cowan University Australia. Multi award winning TEDx Speaker, Celebrity Exercise Physiologist,  Nutritionist  and Talk Show Host.  

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