One of the important principles in the Today’s the Day Plan is to drink one-half your body weight in ounces of water and to include ¼ teaspoon of natural, unprocessed salt, like Celtic or Himalayan Crystal, for every 32 oz.
As we all know, staying properly hydrated is critical for overall health. Although we think of our body as flesh, blood and bone, approximately 70% of our body is water! You need water to properly digest and metabolize the food you eat. Interestingly, when you are dehydrated, you are unable to effectively process emotions as well. I think we can agree water is critical. But why do I recommend including a specific amount of salt?
According to Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D., (Dr. B) an internationally renowned researcher, author and advocate of the natural healing power of water, this is the most effective amount of salt to water ratio. As I explain in Today’s the Day, natural, unprocessed salt has all the minerals that your blood naturally contains and that your body craves. It helps balance electrolytes, keeps your system alkalized, keeps blood thinner and therefore helps to lower blood pressure naturally. Also, according to Dr. B, if we drink too much water and don’t take in enough salt for our water intake, the body will release histamine, which means allergy symptoms!
As if that wasn’t enough to convince you, particularly if weight loss is a goal, there are even more reasons not to shy away from salt. This fascinating article relates studies conducted on Russian cosmonauts which showed that eating more salt made them less thirsty but somehow hungrier. Before you protest, urine tests revealed they were producing higher amounts of glucocorticoid hormones, which affect your metabolism, causing increased fat and muscle breakdown.
These broken-down muscle proteins are converted into urea, which helps your body excrete waste via urine as well as helping your body retain water. So a newly found side effect of higher salt intake is freeing up water for your body to use. This process uses more energy which is why it increased hunger.
Subsequent animal research found that mice burned more calories when they consumed more salt, requiring 25% more food just to maintain their weight. So one exciting implication of this finding is that salt may be involved in weight loss.
Two words of caution, however. First, when you do use salt, make sure it’s unrefined and minimally processed as I mentioned at the beginning. The one I use daily is Himalayan pink salt, rich in naturally-occurring trace minerals needed for healthy bones, fluid balance and overall health, as well as sodium and chloride, which are essential for life because your body cannot make these elements on its own. Keep in mind, processed table salt (and salt in most processed foods) is 97% sodium chloride and chemicals. Natural, unprocessed salt is 84% sodium chloride and 16% essential trace minerals your body needs. Quality is always most important and salt is no exception.
And second, if you’re eating a lot of processed foods and very few, high potassium, fresh vegetables, your sodium-to-potassium balance is virtually guaranteed to be reversed. When this ratio is imbalanced, it can lead to high blood pressure as well as be a contributing factor to a number of other serious health problems.
Does it surprise you that salt can be a secret weapon for weight loss?
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Interesting research Ann!
I tried salt in my water and found myself constipated. So I put natural sea salt on my food and drink water with meals. I’m alway open to suggestions, but that seems to be working for me.
I found this super interesting – “if we drink too much water and don’t take in enough salt for our water intake, the body will release histamine, which means allergy symptoms!” This summer I started getting a really weird leg rash while cycling. It was actually really bad and got worse every time. I tried to make a connection between the temp, humidity, pollen, sunscreen, food, and the only connection I could make was bananas (which I tested last weekend and it wasn’t). Not wanting to go to the Dr and get prescribed a steroid cream, I decided to give acupuncture a try, and so far so good. But that statement about the water/salt balance got me thinking. We use rehydration tabs in every other bottle of water on hot days or during long rides, but I wonder if it’s not enough. Something to pay attention to during the rest of the reason. Thanks for this little nugget of wisdom at the perfect time!
I always tell people if they don’t like putting the salt in their water to do it the way you do. Be sure you get the right amount for you and balance it with the right amount of water. I love when people listen to their bodies! That’s very interesting about the leg rash and maybe it has something to do with hydration especially now in the warmer weather. Please keep me posted on how it resolves!
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