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March 08, 2021
Who doesn’t love salt? Some of us may even enjoy it a little too much (ahem!). But in all seriousness, it’s debatable whether ‘too much’ salt is even a problem at all. In the never ending seesaw of scientific debate surrounding dietary health, salt has seen both sides of the proverbial coin.
Salt has always been fundamental to human civilization. But its central role goes beyond seasoning and preserving foods. Salt has been a mainstay of medicine and dietary health for as long as humans have recorded such things.
Egyptians and Greeks drank salty or mineralized waters for digestive troubles and inhaled salt for respiratory diseases. Romans mixed salt with other ingredients (often vinegar, honey, fat, flour, pitch, resin) and used it to treat a host of ailments, including ear-ache, digestive upsets, and infections. During the renaissance, the Swiss physician Paracelsus declared that only salted food could be digested properly!
The extensive medicinal use of salt culminated in the 19th century with pharmacists recommending internal use of salt for just about everything, from digestive upsets, dysentery, and intestinal worms, to glandular diseases and goiter, to even dropsy, epilepsy, and syphilis!
Okay, maybe those 19th-century pharmacists went a little overboard. But even so, they may have been on to something.
Today we use salts for all kinds of health benefits, from salt soaks for aches and sore muscles to a saltwater gargle for oral health. And, as it turns out, salt really is essential for both digestion and proper heart function!
Salt has been so integral to human development that it’s not uncommon for people to assign it near-mystical properties. These range from the somewhat fringe belief that salt absorbs and holds mystical energy to the (marginally) more reasonable belief that certain salts---such as Dead Sea salt---have almost magical healing properties.
There’s just something special about salt!
It turns out even western medicine has softened its position against salt. The medical establishment that denounced salt for decades warned about the negative health consequences and claimed that it led to cardiovascular problems, heart disease, and stroke.
But recently, a series of more sophisticated studies have consistently shown that the effects of salt on blood pressure are negligible at the individual level. What’s more, these studies show that reduced salt intake probably does not reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or death!
In fact, a low salt intake unquestionably has negative health consequences, including cholesterol problems and buildup of vascular fatty tissue, insulin resistance and diabetes, and hyponatremia (which leads to headaches, fatigue, nausea, and dizziness).
That’s right; you need salt!
I still wouldn’t go eating a pound a day. As in all things, balance is key. The crucial point here is to stop thinking of salt as something “bad” or to be avoided. Instead, recognize that salt is, in fact, critical to your health.
The significance of salt is something that Dr. McDaniel understood long ago, although his recognition of salt’s central role in health ran counter to the medical orthodoxy of the time. In a more contemporary context, however, and in light of more recent studies, current medical thinking about salt has realigned to be consistent with Dr. McDaniel’s theory of Zeta Potential (read more about this in The Science of Fruitful Golden Years manual).
In The Science of Fruitful Golden Years, Dr. McDaniel explains the central role of salt for proper heart function (among other things), pointing out that too little salt can cause heart arrhythmias and other problems:
“If you are a light salter, you are not doing yourself any favors...Water is the most important anion [a.k.a. electrolyte] and cation [a.k.a. counter-ion] in the universe. The second is salt. Ninety-one percent of your cations should come from sodium...Regular sea salt is OK but is too refined and has too much calcium [and] additives.”
Dr. McDaniel’s Zeta Potential relies heavily on the idea of balance. In The Science of Fruitful Golden Years, he explains how each of us can create happier, healthier lives for ourselves by embracing specific choices.
Much of Zeta Potential’s benefit comes from what we do (or don’t) choose to put into our bodies.
In light of this (and the recent chilly weather!) I want to share a delicious winter recipe from The Science of Fruitful Golden Years manual. It’s an easy-to-make soup with only six ingredients, all based on creating balance and utilizing Zeta Potential.
I have to say, based on the ingredients alone, I expected the soup to be somewhat bland---it’s not!
Make sure to use northern white beans: soak them overnight after washing them. Add bay leaves and carrots. After simmering for 2½ hours, when the beans look nearly done, stir in the parsley. Then continue simmering for another 15–30 minutes or until the beans are truly tender. Add salt and pepper and discard bay leaves. Serve hot.
Feel free to vary the recipe according to your needs! I use olive oil to decrease cravings and vinegar to improve digestion. Use 4 to 1 teaspoonful salt for every cup of beans.
This soup is delicious and nourishing. When you eat whole, unprocessed foods, the nutrients are more satiating, so you fill up fast. Enjoy!
From the earliest times, people have recognized that salt, paired with healthful ingredients, can be crucial to health and wellness. One of the keys to the Zeta Potential in this soup is our unique Celtic Sea Salt.
Most people think “salt is salt,” but regular table salt is stripped down and full of additives. Celtic Sea Salt contains 79 minerals not found in "table salt." These minerals are essential to your health (plus it’s tasty!).
Learn more about how Zeta Potential and the Zestful Wellness Protocol can help you make your golden years your most fun and fruitful years!
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