So, let’s talk about salt. Poor salt! It pours out its very life to benefit mankind and gets only disdain in return. Well, maybe that’s a little over the top, but salt doesn’t deserve the bad rap it gets. It’s not manna from heaven, but it’s good stuff. Essential to life stuff.
Here’s something I bet you didn’t know: People who reduce their salt intake to combat high blood pressure have more heart attacks than those that don’t. That probably wasn’t the plan.
Now, to be sure, if your doc told you to avoid salt, you need to talk these things over with said doctor before paying attention to me. I’m just a patient. Some people are sensitive to salt just as others are sensitive to, say, tomatoes.
Here’s how I got into the salt thing. My pituitary gland went on a work-slow-down strike years ago and decided to stick with it. As part of my not-so-excellent pituitary adventure, my adrenal glands run on fumes. Hypothyroid people probably understand what I’m talking about because their adrenals are typically in the same boat. So I investigated what I could do.
Craving salt is one sign of adrenal glands that would rather sleep than see their duty and do it. The adrenals balance your body’s salt vs. potassium levels, and if the balance gets out of whack, it’s always salt that’s on the short end of things–along with your brain, your energy levels, etc.
My first-thing-in-the-morning ritual, then, starts with drinking a glass of water with a half teaspoon of salt in it.
But not regular salt. Processing removes all the minerals from regular grocery-store salt and then adds aluminum to make the salt flow readily. Except that we really need those minerals, and aluminum is toxic to the nervous system.
Sea salt, on the other hand, blesses our cells by keeping all the minerals and adding nothing. It tastes like regular salt, but with a much better aftertaste, almost sweet. Celtic Sea Salt owns the big-time reputation, but Dead Sea Salt and New Zealand salt are good, too. Once I discovered sea salt, I stopped using regular salt entirely.
Of course, drinking salt water doesn’t do a lot of good for your salt/potassium balance if you’re swilling down a lot of potassium–as in Gatorade and other sports drinks. So if you finished up a workout with a sports drink and ended up feeling like a truck hit you, perhaps now you know why. Find something that has at least as much salt as potassium, such as tomato juice, or stick to water–maybe with a twist of lemon to dress it up a little.
Salt’s not all you can do to juice up your adrenals, but it’s a small, simple start.
About the author: Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be one. She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work–or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at