It seems as if no matter where we turn we are constantly bombarded with a variety of unhealthy food choices that weigh down our weight loss goals. "Salty or sweet?" "Pick your poison!" These tantalizing options call to us. Salt, especially, has gained quite the reputation over the years for a barrage of negative effects. According to the Consensus Action on Salt & Health, high salt consumption is a primary contributor to conditions like increased blood pressure, strokes, coronary heart disease, stomach cancer, osteoporosis, weight gain, kidney diseases and diabetes! It's no wonder doctors are advising their patients to keep an eye out for the skyrocketing sodium content in most of our favorite foods! Luckily, you don't have to avoid salt altogether in order to stay safe. You can use the following healthier alternatives to keep your salt consumption under control!
Himalayan salt: This pure, crystalized substance is a far cry from today's customary table salt. While traditional iodized salt is constantly exposed to pollutants and toxins, himalayan salt is commonly referred to as "white gold" because of its clarity. It possesses over 80 natural minerals that are found in the human body, which makes it easier for our cells to absorb. Its purity is not the only thing this natural salt substitute boasts; Himalayan salt is believed to have a huge amount of health benefits, including:
- Controlling the water levels within the body
- Encouraging excellent blood sugar health
- Aiding in reducing the common signs of aging
- Promoting the increased absorption capacities of food elements within the intestinal tract
- Aiding vascular health
- Supporting healthy respiratory function
- Increasing bone strength
- Naturally promoting healthy sleep patterns
- Promotes kidney and gall bladder health
For a more complete list of benefits, check out the Global Healing Center.
Herbs and spices: The right kind of seasoning can go a long way in spicing up your favorite dishes (pun intended). If you add a couple strong flavors like garlic, cumin, oregano, basil, or your favorite spice, you will probably find that you don't miss salt at all! Plus, some of those herbs and spices out there have some pretty great health benefits. Take curry powder, for instance. According to Fitness Magazine, studies have shown that curry powder can actually reduce your risk for certain cancers!
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Celtic salt: Unlike all the processed salts you will find peppering the shelves at the grocery store, celtic sea salt is known for its natural contributions to the human body's health and longevity. It contains 82 minerals that we are easily able to digest, and it does not contain any of the preservatives or additives you would commonly find in typical table salt. It is harvested in far-off France, and promotes benefits such as:
- Regulates heartbeat and blood pressure
- Improves brain function
- Balances blood sugars
- Increases energy
- Provides electrolyte balance
- Builds immunity
- Promotes restful sleep (via Water Benefits Health)
Kelp granules: This vegetable of the sea is packed full of calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, iodine, and more! Kelp is also a natural diuretic, which means that unlike table salt, it won't make you retain water! It's the perfect natural daily vitamin for women, so if you are ready to ditch all that processed sodium from your diet, this may be the perfect replacement! You can find kelp granules in the form of shakers in many natural grocery stores. (via Herb Wisdom)
Keep in mind that salt is a necessary component to good health. Even table salt contains some properties that the body needs. It plays a huge part in regulating the body's hydration levels, it replenishes our electrolytes, and can even help regulate our blood pressure if we don't overdo it. These substitutions will help you to reap the benefits of salt and banish all those nasty side effects!