Salt gets incredibly bad press in our society today, but sea salt shouldn’t be lumped in with those reports.
Yes, we are bombarded with messages telling us of the evils of table salt: that it will cause our blood pressure to skyrocket, leading to heart attacks and more. Most articles, and even many medical professionals, fail to discuss the benefits of sea salt.
The truth is that our bodies have evolved with salt over thousands of years. In fact, it is incredibly important to our basic survival. I am not speaking of the highly refined and purified sodium that exists in excess in processed foods or refined sodium chloride (table salt); that refined and processed sodium chloride, no matter the source, is bad for our overall health.
Salt in its natural form, however, from the sea and with all its 80 plus minerals (in addition to the sodium chloride), is vital to life and the healing of Adrenal Fatigue.
Why Sea Salt Is My First Healing Recommendation
Salt plays a crucial role in metabolic function. The entire body runs on the energy produced by little pumps called sodium/potassium pumps. Hence, the vast majority of chemical reactions—this includes every function you can think of—are dependent on adequate levels of sodium and potassium. Sodium and potassium levels are primarily controlled by the hormones of the adrenal glands.
Our adrenal glands secrete a hormone called aldosterone that controls our ability to hold onto salt (sodium, to be more specific). The stronger our adrenal glands, the stronger our aldosterone levels, and the better our ability to hold onto salt.
In the body there is a basic rule that “water follows salt.” Therefore, if we have weakened adrenals, and hence have lower aldosterone, we will have lower salt/sodium. Since water follows salt, we will lose water as well. If we lose water (primarily by making us urinate frequently), we lose most of our blood volume; we can then become lightheaded and chronically dehydrated, which are two of the most common effects of Adrenal Fatigue.
All of these problems that have to do with adequate salt retention cause major stress and dysfunction in the body, because all functions in the body exist in an aqueous medium (approximately 70% water). This means that the body needs water to run all of its enzymes and metabolic processes. When this is not possible, dysfunction occurs on many levels.
The simple solution is to consume adequate salt regularly until the adrenal system can perform that function normally.
(Don’t) Pass the Table Salt
As I mentioned before, the type of salt we consume is important. Pure, processed sodium chloride (NaCl), or table salt, is relatively foreign to the body and has only existed in that form for a relatively short time. Salt should be naturally unrefined and should come from its natural source, the sea. There are many good options available.
Unrefined sea salt looks dirty and is colored tan, gray, or even pink, depending on the concentration of all those other minerals in it. Sea salt that is pure crystalline white, such as table salt, has been processed and bleached; therefore, I do not recommend it.
Pink or Gray: Is Himalayan or Sea Salt Best?
To take things a step further, I would like to add that of all the unrefined salts out there, I tend to recommend Celtic Sea Salt the most. While Pink Himalayan is quite popular and is used by many, I question the real differences between Celtic Sea Salt and Pink Himalayan Salt.
The obvious difference again is color: pink or gray. The pink color of the Himalayan salt is attributed to the iron content. Celtic Sea Salt’s gray color is due to the magnesium and mineral content.
The difference that means the most to us is the availability of the minerals. Pink Himalayan salt is mined from ancient deposits in Pakistan with a very low moisture content. My choice of Celtic Sea Salt is sourced off the coast of France and is harvested by hand. It’s allowed to dry, while retaining some of its moisture.
Due to its higher moisture content, Celtic Sea Salt’s minerals are believed to be more readily available and better absorbed by the body. Celtic Sea Salt contains higher levels of magnesium and lower levels of sodium than Pink Himalayan salt.
Some people also wonder whether contamination has occurred during the mining process of the Pink Himalayan salt. While you can question the harvesting and packaging process of any salt consumed, I don’t know that this is a major concern at this time. What’s more important to me is that the pink salt contains higher amounts of sodium. Because it is a dry salt, the minerals are not as bioavailable.
Taking all these factors into consideration and having used both salts myself, I recommend using Celtic Sea Salt whenever possible. It is one of the basic recommendations I make for anyone trying to reverse Adrenal Fatigue.