I’ve been so wrapped up this week between school being in full-force, as well as recording the first three episodes of The Bitchin’ Yogis Podcast!
We are also in full-on parent-mode where things are starting to get crazy. Jaxon started soccer yesterday after the kids had a dentist appointment. Then, Mike and I had to rush over to Ella’s school for parent-teacher night. All I keep thinking is: “and so it begins.”
This week I want to talk about salt.
When you listen to The Bitchin’ Yogis Podcast early next week, I talk about why you should #1. consider where you source your salt and #2 why to stop limiting it so much.
After listening to Dr. DiNicolantonio talk about his new book, The Salt Fix on Robb Wolf’s Podcast (one of my favorites), I ordered the book IMMEDIATELY and began listening to the audio version before the hard copy arrived.
This whole salt thing wasn’t a new concept to me. I stopped worrying so much about sodium-intake about two years ago, and I actually ADD salt into my water every single day. As a heated power yoga teacher who is very active, I feel much better when doing this.
However, so much of the scientific reasons behind salt intake that I have been learning recently has is fascinating, and I couldn’t wait to share it!
I know so many people who still come to me worried about salting their food!
First off the TYPE of salt you are eating is extremely important
I use Redman’s Real Salt.
Morton’s plain table salt is highly processed, loaded with chemicals, has been bleached, contains aluminum, fluoride, and has leached all the actual nutrients salt contains.
Himalayan salt is the highest in potassium. The most important minerals we use from salt are iodine, magnesium and calcium. Celtic sea salt has 40 mg of magnesium per 10 gram of salt. Celtic and Hawaiian sea salts are low in iodine. Dr. DiNicolantonio has a chart of which salts contain which minerals.
Himalayan Sea Salt and Celtic Seat Salt are what I previously used, and still will occasionally but here’s the other issues:
Celtic Salt comes from the current ocean, which is exposed to many anthropogenic environmental issues (mercury, lead, plastic & petroleum toxins, chemicals, etc.) that ancient seas didn’t experience.
Himalayan brands are harvested from an ancient salt deposit that would have been created long before there were any modern toxins. Geologically, the Himalayan deposit is very similar to Real Salt; they both have the full spectrum of minerals and both can be considered crystal salts. Tasted side by side, Real Salt is a bit sweeter, while Himalayan tends toward an earthy flavor. This is great, but it comes from Pakistan so it is traveling further and is more expensive.
Most importantly, this article titles “6 Reasons to End Your Love Affair with Himalayan Salt” had me thinking a lot about the environmental impact of purchasing Himalayan Sea Salt.
Redman’s Real Salt is produced in the US (Utah),and comes from an ancient sea bed, unadulterated by pollutants found in modern-day seas.
Why We NEED to eat salt!
1. Salt cools your body down and prevents heat stroke
When you are out in the heat for too long your body loses too much water and salt, and it can be very dangerous. Many people experience cramping in muscles, dizziness, and there have been death caused by extreme heat (which he is saying is actually from salt loss).
We are told to overload on water, but that can be counter-intuitive.
In fact, salt will cool your body down faster than drinking water … crazy, right?
Animals know instinctively to go to a salt lick when their body’s need it.
If you are getting over-heated get yourself some salt (see #4).
2. Salt helps ward-off sugar cravings
Your brain is hyper sensitized when you eat too little salt. This will result in cravings for things like sugar to please your brain’s reward center. Dr. D. also mentioned how lack of salt can predispose certain individuals to drug addiction, which I found fascinating.
If you are worried about overdoing it with the salt, don’t. Our bodies have a built-in safety mechanism and will compensate. The taste receptors on your tongue will give you an aversion signal if you get too much, unlike sugar, where the desire grows stronger as you consume more.
Fascinating and it makes sense, right? I know I can house a sheet of cookies like a champ, but can not over-do salt in my soup … my tongue is like “nope.”
3. Salt helps you to get your kids to eat healthy food
I have always seasoned my children’s food.
Even as babies, I added herbs and spices from day 1 so that their taste buds wouldn’t be used to bland things.
This goes for adults as well. Real salt cuts bitterness in vegetables and makes them more satiating.
A compliment to this notion is how I always say to add healthy fats, like grass-fed butter, to your meal! Eating plain steamed veggies is not only boring, it won’t keep you full. You are also maximizing nutrient-absorption by adding fat and real salt.
4. Adequate sodium enhances performance in athletes
Try adding 1/2 a teaspoon of salt (what the average person loses in their sweat) in your water bottle before you workout. Dr. D (I hope he doesn’t mind me calling him that) actually recommends doing this little shot with 2 ounces of water + 1/2 teaspoon of real salt + lemon before you exercise to enhance performance.
It can also really help with post-workout muscle aches and pains. Inadequate salt intake will exacerbate that!
5. We need to continuously re-absorb the salt we are losing daily.
We sweat, we drink caffeine, we live … we need to continuously re-absorb all that salt that our bodies are losing each day. By not being on top of that, it is actually leading to all of these health issues that no one ever thought to link salt intake to! It is harmful for insulin levels (causes insulin resistance), cholesterol levels, thyroid, and can actually increase someone’s risk for a heart attack.
Additionally, low salt diets can burn out your sympathetic nervous system.
If your body is low in magnesium and calcium one of the best things you can do is up your salt intake!
I recommend picking up The Salt Fix on Amazon right now to read ALL about this for yourself.
Listen to The Bitchin’ Yogis Podcast Episode 3 for fun discussion on salt and diet myths, and tune into Robb Wolf’s Podcast (episode 371) for a more scientific breakdown on salt intake!
I am going to beg him to come on our Podcast next! Let’s make it happen!
I’ll be teaching a $5 yoga class at The Conshy Beer Garden TONIGHT! Come see me if you’re local!
Have a great weekend, and please send us your podcast questions on social media or the comments below!