Salt is one of the most precious natural compounds known to man. Throughout history, people have used salt to trade (as payment), to make bread and to preserve food (cured meat & cheese).
Salt (Sodium chloride) is essential for healthy blood, sweat, digestive juices and efficient nerve transmission. In fact a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that populations with the lowest salt intakes also have among the shortest life spans.
Since the early part of the 20th century salt producers have been adding iodine to table salt. Iodine deficiency goiter and cretinism (physical & mental retardation) have almost been eliminated in most industrialised countries of the world, yet disorders related to iodine deficiency still affect nearly 200 million people, mostly in the poorest of countries.
Even where improvements have been made, iodised salt doesn’t fulfill all of our body’s requirements for iodine. Studies conducted in the USA show that iodine levels have dropped significantly (50%) in all demographic categories in the US, despite the introduction of iodised salt. Read about the US data on iodine levels. Iodised salt makes iodine available to the body in only one form, so is of limited use in filling the body’s total requirements. (Research conducted as far back as 1969, indicated a poor bio-availability of iodine in salt, at only 10%). Additionally, the compound used to iodise salt, potassium iodide, only partly satisfies the iodine requirements of the body. Different body tissues are able to assimilate iodine in varying forms; so consuming other foods rich in iodine (such as seaweed, which contains both iodide & iodine) is preferable.
Another controversy lies in the effects of eating refined salt – even iodised refined salt. Before refined salt hits the shelves, it’s dried in high heat (above 540 degrees Celsius), which alters the natural chemical structure of the salt. To make matters worse, during the drying process, manufacturers add anti-caking agents so the end product will pour and flow freely. So table salt is not pure – its 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals. Consuming too much of this type of salt can cause excess fluid in your body tissues and lead to various health issues. Despite table salt having little in common with natural salt, this is the type most people use to flavor their home cooked food, and most food manufacturing companies dump into their packaged products. More than 75% of sodium in the average diet is said to come from processed foods.
Why Sea Salt?
Like fat, salt is often misunderstood. Many of us ‘crave salt’ because our bodies crave missing nutrients, which are actually absent from the refined salt. The composition of our blood and the other fluids in our bodies have an amazing similarity to seawater. Water and salt regulate the water content of the body and it’s been said there are ‘two oceans of water inside the body – one held inside the cells, and the other outside the cells’. Good health depends on a most delicate balance between the volume of these oceans. Achieving this balance is easier when you use natural, unrefined sea salt which is closest in structure to the fluids in our body. Pacific Harvest offers a delicious hot manuka smoked salt in the sea salt range. Read about Sea Salt’s Health Benefits.
Why Kelp Salt?
Natural sea salt has been found to be weak in the iodine so we mix our natural sea salt with New Zealand Kelp to make ‘Kelp Salt’, which combines the many health benefits of natural sea salt with those of kelp seaweed. Kelp Salt tastes salty (from the kelp) but also contains a number of additional nutrients which are beneficial for health.
If you would like to try something with a stronger essence of the ocean, try our new seaweed salt which contains a blend of organic New Zealand sea salt, New Zealand wild wakame and Atlantic Dulse flakes to infuse your plate with the essence of the ocean.
Disclaimer: This material is provided for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This information is generic and may not include the latest research. We encourage you to do your own research and discuss your findings with a qualified health practitioner who can help you validate the outcomes in the context of your specific & individual health situation.