It has been a busy week and I haven't had the time to update on the next part of my experience at Growing Connections this past Sunday. But here it is and please bear with me as I work on parts three and four.
After Jordan Rubin's opening keynote session, the conference split into three paths. The first path was titled Weston A. Price 101 and began with a session on the basics of nutrition. The second path was titled Weston A. Price 201 and began with a session on salt. The third track was titled Children's Health and began with a session on vegetarianism. I sat in on the salt discussion. I've read some of the basics about the need for salt in the diet, but haven't delved into it as much as I have other topics. So I figured I could learn some good stuff at that session... which I did. I'll cover the basics and the new stuff (to me) here.
This session was given by Dr. David Brownstein of the Center for Holistic Medicine. He has written many different books and is a really great doctor from what I've heard from his patients in my local WAPF chapter. I was excited to hear him speak.
Refined vs. unrefined salt.
First of all, there are two kinds of salt - the refined stuff (a.k.a. the typical Morton's salt, kosher salt, iodized salt, etc.) and the unrefined stuff (a.k.a. Celtic sea salt, Redmond's real salt, Himilayan crystal salt, etc.). Refined salt has been stripped of all its minerals, which essentially makes it lifeless. But it is shelf-stable, which is why it is so readily available. Unrefined salt is salt that has been farmed to preserve all of its 80+ natural minerals. That last sentence right there should be enough to convince you. You have the choice between something that contains over 80 natural minerals or something that contains absolutely zero minerals... which would you choose? Its not even a question for me anymore.
Low salt diets are actually very bad for you.
Low salt diets are prescribed for so many ailments these days. According to the pharmaceutical companies, low salt diets are supposed to fix a number of different health problems. When in reality, they do just the opposite. Low (refined) salt diets actually raise cholesterol, raise insulin levels, and raise toxicity in the body... among other things. Of course, there are drugs that will fix all of those conditions (by the way, replacing salt with unrefined salt in your diet will also fix these ailments). Taking more drugs means more profit for the pharmaceutical companies. Like so much else in the world today, it boils down to money... lots and lots of money. It makes me sick. Why not just replace your salt with unrefined sea salt? Again, its no longer a question for me.
Getting the right amount of salt.
Each person's daily requirement for salt is different. It is really dependent on the amount of water you drink. Dr. Brownstein suggests that for every quart of water you drink, you should be getting at least 1/4 teaspoon of unrefined salt.
Test your body's pH.
An acidic pH in your body has been associated with many serious diseases including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, high blood pressure, cancers, and more. Unrefined salt provides your answer. Increase your intake of unrefined salt and you will raise your body's pH. You can buy litmus papers and test your own pH at home. Dr. Brownstein recommends testing your saliva and your urine. Test your saliva first thing in the morning, before you brush your teeth. A normal pH is around 7.2. Keep a record of your daily pH as you make changes to your salt intake. I just ordered some litmus papers, so that I can test my pH. I know I don't get enough unrefined salt in my diet, so I'm curious to see what my pH is and how it changes over time.
Find a better source of iodine.
Approximately 95% of the population is iodine-deficient. This can cause thyroid problems, depression, anxiety, frustration, weight gain, infertility, constipation, fatigue, and other symptoms. Women especially need iodine. Good sources for iodine include seaweed, some fish, iodine tablets, and liquid iodine. Iodized refined salt is not a good source for iodine... it actually contains very small trace amounts. You're way better off taking a supplement or eating lots of seaweed. I picked up some iodine tablets at the big farmers' market that I'll now be taking on a daily basis.
Detox your body with salt.
Cleansing and detoxifying your body were a common theme at all the sessions I attended on Sunday. Dr. Brownstein suggests taking a bath in unrefined salt. Epsom salts are ok to use here - and they're cheap. Dissolve 2 cups of Epsom salts into a warm bath. Add 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide to the bath, as well. Just use the normal peroxide in the brown bottle with the 3-6% concentration, not the food-grade stuff. Soaking in this will pull out all the toxins from your body. You should see a black/grey/brown film line around the water's edge... the more toxins you have in your body, the darker and thicker that line will be.
That's it for part 2. I hope you learned something new, too.