We are always advised that consuming salt is unhealthy and causes high blood pressure, but is that correct?
Roger Daltrey was being interviewed on Radio 2 recently and was recounting a scary moment in South America when he collapsed on stage and was rushed to hospital. What was wrong with him? He needed salt! The combination of strenuous exercise and heat had depleted his sodium levels and he collapsed.
Do We Need Salt? Yes we do but we need to be cautious with advice here, because salt comes in different forms.
Table Salt: Ordinary table salt is composed of sodium and chlorine. Both elements if consumed individually would be very toxic, but when combined their toxicity reduces. Salt in this form is effectively processed because it is boiled then recreated in to refined table salt. It is virtually devoid of any mineral content other than sodium and should be avoided because it causes high blood pressure
Unrefined Sea Salt:
This is a much healthier form of salt because it is lower in sodium than table salt, but is much higher in trace minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and iodine. In fact the best brand I have found is right here on our doorstep, and comes from Jersey Sea Salt. It contains over 60 trace minerals and is regularly tested for impurities, with impressive results.
Why is it Better?
It is sea salt as nature intended it. The salt it sieved from the sea off the north-east coast of Jersey and is naturally dried using the sun, so is referred to as “solar salt”. Nothing is added and nothing is taken away. Many other brands that claim to be pure are actually processed by virtue of being kiln dried or boiled. It really enhances the taste of food and there are some delicious infusions, including Pepper Dulse, an indigenous form of kelp that further enhances the nutritional value.
Is It Healthy? It is certainly a great deal healthier than ordinary table salt and the benefits outweigh the dangers, mainly due to the mineral content and lower sodium levels. Consuming spoonfuls would tip the balance, but enhancing your food with it has an overall health benefit, and it is definitely the sensible choice if you are exercising or in a hot climate