Salt - a vital component in aging well
Posted on 17th January 2018 at 16:13
The right type of salt helps balance the electrolytes required for the body to function at optimum health. No salt or too much of the wrong salt leads to imbalance and premature aging.
I’m going to mention salt quite frequently on this blog because without it the body’s cells age rapidly and our focus is on aging well. A lack of salt can literally cripple your health, potentially causing liver and kidney problems, and massive adrenal exhaustion. A salt-free diet tires the valves of the heart so If you are avoiding salt due to high blood pressure then you should reconsider, bearing in mind that you need to take professional advice and that getting the right type of salt is vitally important.
I often find myself recommending that clients add salt into their diet - it is amazing the number of people who tell me they don’t use it. Quite often however, what they actually mean is that they don’t add salt to their cooking, not that they don’t consume salt. Almost every ready meal, loaf of bread, biscuit, cake, sauce, mayonnaise, snack and convenience food will contain common table salt because it is a cheap preservative and flavor-enhancer. Without it the food would taste bland and have a greatly reduced shelf life. Unfortunately avoiding this kind of salt is a problem for many people today.
Common table salt, like all salts, starts life in the sea but commercial production strips out it’s precious minerals (these are sold on to chemical companies for a nice profit), bleaches it and adds other ingredients such as anti-caking agents to make it easily pourable. This demineralized sodium chloride promotes a pathological calcification and a breakdown of cellular tissue in the body. In other words it leads to early onset aging and disease. Common table salt is a poison to the body and should be avoided at all costs but this is hard to do in an age where ready meals and eating out are regular practices for many people.
In your own cooking though you do have a choice and these are some of the points you should bear in mind when choosing and using salt.
Not all salt sold for culinary use is created equal.
• A high quality natural sea salt provides the electrolytes required to regulate the exchange of sodium on the outside of the body cells with potassium on the inside. This exchange is vital for overall good health. Common table salt interferes with this process.
• Vegetables cannot be fully digested without being salted. When you use a high quality sea salt it enhances absorption of their nutrients into the body and intensifies their flavour. Add salt towards the end of the cooking time or sprinkle over a ‘finishing salt’ (see below) before serving.
• Natural sea salt looks grey and wet (if it is very white and dry it has had much of it’s magnesium removed – magnesium is a water-hugging molecule) and is best kept in a glass container and used by the pinch in cooking. It is highly concentrated in flavor and as a rule of thumb you will need half the amount of this kind of salt to the amount of common table salt you would usually add. It is too wet to use in a salt mill.
• Rock salt (such as Himalayan salt) is depleted in minerals in comparison to natural sea salt. This is as a result of being in the ground for thousands of years where rainfall seeps through its layers removing minerals as it goes. It also has more chance of absorbing toxins from the soil.
• The salt that I recommend above all others is Celtic sea salt from the Guerande region of France. It is made by an entirely natural process that dries it in the sun and filters it through natural reed beds leaving its minerals intact and easily absorbable in the body.
• The king of salts is Fleur de Sel. This is used as a finishing salt rather than a cooking salt. It contains the highest concentration of minerals and is so intense that a little goes a very long way. It is too expensive to cook with and should be sprinkled on foods before serving. Fleur de Sel is produced in several countries and in different regions of France. However, once again, that from the Celtic region of Guerande is considered the best.
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