- Have you ever felt tired, confused or irritable in the middle of the day?
- Have you ever had a headache?
- What about not being able to concentrate, or think clearly because you’ve got brain fog?
- Have you ever felt dizzy, thirsty or had a dry or stick mouth (hello bad breath!)?
- Have you ever experienced a rapid heartbeat or increased breathing rate even without exercising?
- Have you had dark circles around your eyes or had sunken eyes?
- Have you ever fainted?
- Have you ever cried, but no tears came out?
You COULD be dehydrated!
Most people think, to re-hydrated, we simply need to drink more water. But if we increase our water intake significantly during the course of 1 day (eg, 1-2 Litres) and then end up needing to go to the toilet every 15 minutes, what’s the point?
This very reason of regular toilet visits would have to be the main reason my family and friends complain about when I encourage them to drink more water, and fair enough. But is drinking more water really the answer to becoming hydrated? Well, if it’s passing straight through us – the short answer is, “no!”.
According to Google, the definition of hydration is ‘the process of causing something to ABSORB water’. Let’s think about this for a second. If we want to hydrate our bodies, and therefore our cells, we want to create an environment that will help the cell absorb water, to be able to use it effectively and give us the benefits of proper hydration.
To create this environment, we simply need a good source of minerals with adequate amounts of pure water, we need about 1 Litre per 30kg of body weight, with a max. of 3 Litres before exercise, per day. With the right type of minerals, our body can absorb, retain and use water effectively, keeping us hydrated and healthy! This also means that if our cells are absorbing the water, as opposed to passing through us, we won’t be needing to go to the toilet every 15 minutes! The result – a visit to the toilet just 2-3 times a day, instead! Wahoo!
So how do we create this environment where cells can absorb water and where do we get a good source of minerals from?
The short answer is by consuming ‘good salts’.
It may seem strange to think that “salt” can help you become hydrated. Most people think that salt is bad for you and can make you dehydrated, along with a whole host of other health complications, and it can. It all depends on the TYPE and QUALITY of salt you choose to consume!
Let’s keep this simple, as we learn a little more about salt. I’m going to talk about 2 types of categories for salt – good salt and bad salt.
My definition of ‘bad salts’ are those salts that have been man-made, have been interfered with, have been processed, bleached and fortified with man-made minerals (AKA harmful chemicals, causing many health issues – that’s another topic for another day!).
‘Good salts’ are those salts found in nature. They are whole, in its purest, most-natural form, containing many beautiful natural minerals our bodies can recognise and use to help us feel incredible (AKA the benefits of being hydrated!). These salts are the type of salt nature intended for us to consume!
Table Salt is a popular choice for salt at home and in restaurants. So, is it bad or good? Here’s why I put it on the “bad” list.
BAD SALTS -Table Salt (Sodium Chloride)
Table salt has many alternate names; common salt, rock salt, saline, iodised salt, isotonic solution, purex, halite and of course sodium chloride.
As the names (in brackets) suggests, this salt basically contains 2 minerals. Sounds ok, doesn’t it? We need minerals to help our bodies become hydrated, right? But are these the TYPE of minerals that are good for us?
Basically, at the end of the day, the short answer is no!
Sodium can reduce the ability of your kidneys to remove water from the body, resulting in high blood pressure. Chloride may cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, sweating or high fever, leading to dehydration!
Table Salt is a refined salt, meaning it’s been stripped of any goodness. As Table Salt is not the type of salt our body can recognise and use, it can play havoc on our health, including our cells to become dehydrated (this is probably where we get our understanding of salt causing dehydration as opposed to helping us hydrate) and worse yet cause our body to retain fluids!
Great, so we end up with “cankles”, while battling the side effects of dehydration. If that’s not enough to convince you to leave Table Salt on the shelf in the supermarket, let’s take a closer look….
What I find really disturbing is how this salt is processed, before being made available for consumers to purchase. The processing or refining process involves removing all the impurities (that’s good) and trace minerals (no! not the good stuff), before adding potassium iodine and dextrose.
What are these?
Right…it’s time to put my “teacher hat” on! Bear with me…just for 2 short paragraphs!
Potassium iodine (K+I–) is an ionic compound (man-made), produced by treating Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) with iodine. (By the way, KOH is commonly used as a bleach when making soaps, dyes, alkaline batteries, etc). It is used to protect the thyroid gland when exposed to radiation! When potassium bonds with iodine, it becomes an ion state, referred to as iodide. In this form, iodide crystallises in a sodium chloride structure, ie table salt. So, to prevent any clumping/crystallisation of the salt, and therefore stabilising the iodide, they add dextrose!
So, what’s dextrose?
Dextrose is a form of glucose (AKA sugar), commonly found in processed foods and corn syrup. It is NOT a whole food, but a simple sugar, raising blood sugar levels very quickly, while lacking any nutritional value.
What else is added?
Well, to be doubly sure this salt doesn’t clump up, they add calcium silicate, an anti-caking agent (AKA a food additive, causing many health implications all on its own). Perfect (sarcasm)!!
On another note, have you ever noticed just how white table salt is?
Typically, some natural salts are a slightly dirty colour, a bit like the colour of your washing up water! But not table salt. It’s pure white, isn’t it? That’s because they bleach it! Yep, they add bleach. Yum, yum! (sarcasm, again!)
What’s the result of all this processing and refining and added chemicals to make Table Salt?
Well, not to mention the dehydration and “cankle” situation, an increase in blood pressure (probably why the Dr recommends eating a low salt diet), addiction to salty foods and cravings for salt, meaning your body is actually craving missing minerals, is an overall average result!
What do you do if you have Table Salt in your cupboard? File it! Yep, bin it – put it where it belongs! Let’s replace it with a ‘good salt’, your health depends on it!
Let’s look at good salts – what are they, where do I find them and how do they compare to bad salts?
GOOD SALTS – PURE Himalayan Salt and Dulse
Himalayan Salt is Rock Salt or Halite. This salt gives off a terrific pink colour, indicating a rich mineral content. Just what we need to stay hydrated! The minerals found in Himalayan Salt are pure, just as nature intended. In fact, ‘Changing Habits’ Himalayan Salt is sourced from the Himalayan foothills of Pakistan, which was formed 250 million years ago when the region was dried by the heat of the sun! Now that’s nature and ancestral eating at its best!
Dulse is a seaweed, high in Protein, Fibre, Vitamins and Minerals including Vitamins B6, B12, A and Calcium, Iodine, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus and Manganese. It supports healthy brain function, heals poor digestive systems, rebuilds and maintains all glands in the body and cleanses the body of heavy metals.
Combining Himalayan salt with Dulse provides a whopping 84 minerals and trace elements, including Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iodine (lacking in our soils), Iron, Zinc, Boron and Selenium! All these minerals are essential for a healthy immune system and of course, can aid hydration!
When this combination of good salts is consumed with a decent amount of purified water, our body stays hydrated, simply because these pure minerals are recognised by the body, are taken in by the cells and water goes with it! Here it cleans up any waste in the cell, draws the waste out, is taken into the blood, through the kidneys and down the toilet it goes! This process takes a while, meaning a pit stop will be required in about 3-4 hours. Without the presence of good salts, a good quantity of drinking water simply goes into the stomach, through to the blood vessels, into the kidneys and out… heeeeellllo pit stop – 15 minutes later! Can you relate?
Finding a pure, high grade Himalayan Salt, free from environmental toxins (like rust and pollution!) can be difficult, but at ‘Changing Habits’ they have found just that!
‘Changing Habits’ Seaweed Salt is the perfect combination of Pure Himalayan Salt and Dulse, 2 beautiful wholefood sources of good salts. It has not been refined, processed, bleached or had any anti-caking agents added!
HOW does the presence of natural minerals in our salt help us absorb water and stay hydrated?
Ok… my teacher hat is on, again!
Who remembers learning about osmotic pressure in high school? Yeah, neither do I! I always have to look it up to remind myself! Hehe Let’s revisit it…
Osmotic pressure is the pressure of a solution against a semipermeable membrane to prevent water from flowing inward across the membrane. Ok, laments terms: the liquidy stuff (cytoplasm) inside our cells creates a pressure that prevents water from coming inside, therefore water passes by the cells, right through us and eventually into the toilet!
BUT when we add good salts to our drinking water, the presence of these minerals changes the osmotic pressure of the cells, simply meaning there is now more osmotic pressure outside the cell than inside, so the water and minerals which are outside can now cruise on in through the cell wall, and into the cell! Our cells literally absorb the good salty water due to the presence of these beautiful, pure minerals. Wasn’t this what we were looking for to stay hydrated and prevent frequent toilet stops? Yes…Yay! Too easy!
When we are hydrated our temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and other vitals are properly regulated. This means we can easily reverse all the symptoms of feeling dehydrated, just by drinking a bit of water with some good salts! What an easy way to ease headaches, re-energise at 3:30pm without the need for caffeine and chocolate, overcome fatigue and prevent confusion!
When we choose to sprinkle our food with these 2 “good salts” or add a pinch to our drinking water, it’s like giving our bodies a tonic, a good dose of natural minerals our bodies can recognise and use, meaning we reap many health benefits.
In addition to helping us stay hydrated, seaweed salt help to regulate blood pressure and metabolism (burn energy). It assists with the production of hydrochloric acid, which is used in the stomach to aid digestion, meaning it improves and supports our digestive system. It provides proper functioning of the nervous system and brain cells so we can feel more focused, among many other benefits! Remember it contains 84 minerals, each having its own “job” to do in the body? Let’s look at the health benefits Seaweed Salt can offer:
- Supports healthy hydration by providing trace minerals and electrolytes
- Stabilises blood sugar levels
- Is a natural anti-histamine
- Helps suppress the harmful effects of blood cortisol (a hormone that is produced during stressful events, anaerobic exercise and when blood glucose levels are too low)
HOW do we include Seaweed Salt into our daily eating and drinking habits?
- Pour 1/8 teaspoon of Seaweed Salt onto the back of your hand, lick it all up and then consume (scull!) 2 glasses of water (500ml)!
- Pour 1/8 teaspoon of Seaweed Salt in a 500ml glass or stainless-steel bottle. Too salty? Start with 1/16 teaspoon of Seaweed Salt and slowly increase the amount of salt in your water. Your taste buds will adapt over time.
- Sprinkle a pinch of Seaweed Salt on your veggies / salad / meat before BBQ-ing and drink a good glass of water with it.
- Sprinkle on your Chia Coconut Porridge, or add to your homemade Banana-Chocolate Smoothie or Sports Drink (see recipes below!)
MAKING WATER TASTE GREAT
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know just how much I love doTERRA essential oils. Adding them to my water is something I do every day. Not only do they make my water taste amazing, I’m also getting the health benefits of the essential oil! Win-win!
I love adding 2-5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil (LEO) in 1 Litre of Water – LEO gives me a gentle cleanse and detox. It uplifts the mood, so if I’m feeling a bit blue, I can be feeling brighter and happier in no time just by drinking my salted lemon water!
Adding Lemon Essential Oil to my water is also a great option for my teeth, as opposed to squeezing lemon juice into my water. Lemon juice can be acidic and harmful to the enamel on my teeth. LEO comes from the skin of the Lemon, meaning it is more alkaline and good for my teeth! EO’s are also more concentrated compared to the juice, so 1-3 drops are really all you need to get fantastic health benefits and a fabulous taste, plus its cheaper! Have you seen how much lemons and limes are, each?
Always use a glass or stainless-steel drink bottle when adding EO’s to your water. They may give us a fantastic cleanse & detox, but you don’t want them to do that to your plastic drink bottle, stripping toxins from its plastic lining and having these absorb into your water for you to consume!
Other EO’s I love in my water are Lime, a combo of Lemon and Lime, Grapefruit (there’s no bitter taste), Wild Orange and Tangerine!
So, back to the good salt.
Not all Himalayan Salts are equal. Do your research, know the source and be sure to buy a good quality, pure Himalayan salt, found and kept in its most natural form.
So, what about sea salt? Aren’t they a “good salt”? According to Jordan Pie from ‘Changing Habits’, “sea salts are becoming more processed and polluted as the oceans fill up with toxins”. So, again – know your source.
I trust the ‘Changing Habits’ brand because I know the lengths Nutritionist Cyndi O’Meara has gone to to source it, and I have experienced the health benefits myself, especially to stay hydrated.
Seeing as we have learned a little more about salt today, I encourage you to have a think about which salt you have in your pantry and therefore which salt are you choosing to sprinkle on your food?
What about all the packaged and processed foods you buy? Do you check out the ingredients lists? Does it contain salt? What type of salt is in that food? Is it ‘good’ or ‘bad’? Food for thought.
I often talk about making simple swaps – out with the old and in with the new – when wanting to eat whole foods & choosing foods that are better for us. One example here would be to swap out Table Salt (Sodium Chloride) with a Pure Himalayan Salt and Dulse Flakes (Seaweed Salt).
What about cost? Well, yes – you’re right. Table Salt IS cheaper than Seaweed Salt. But how much would having high blood pressure cost you? It’s not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’. The body can only take so much (another topic for another day). I guess it comes down to our choices and I strongly believe prevention is better than cure.
To purchase your Changing Habits Organic Seaweed Salt go to: https://www.changinghabitsaffiliates.com/607-22.html
Organic Seaweed Salt is the highest grade of hand harvested Himalayan Salt that is enriched with dulse (seaweed) flakes. This seaweed salt can replace all other salts. Combines a rich content of minerals and trace elements easily absorbed and utilised by the body.
To purchase your own Essential Oils, and make your water taste yummy go to:
Click ‘join and save’, pay a small $35 fee to open your own account and enjoy 25% off retail price on your chosen essential oils today and always (simply buy more when you run out, through your own account, always receiving 25% off). As a place to start, choose Lemon, Lime, Wild Orange and/or Grapefruit Essential Oil.
Add 1-5 drops to 1 Litre of (salty😉) water in a glass or stainless-steel drink bottle.
Drink 1 litre per 30kg of body weight, with a max. of 3 litres, before exercise, per day.
HEALTH BENEFITS of using essential oils:
Lemon – cleansing and detoxifying, uplifts the mood, supports healthy digestion and eases a scratchy throat.
Lime – Revitalising to the skin!
Wild Orange – Supports anxious feelings, Uplifts the mood and supports the immune system.
Grapefruit – Suppresses appetite and supports mental & physical stress.
Q: What if I’ve exercised hard or sweated a lot. How can I replace my fluids and electrolytes naturally?
ANS: I always look to mother nature first for everything, especially when it comes to replacing electrolytes. Coconut water contains many natural electrolytes. Combining this with a pinch of Seaweed Salt is the bomb! 😊 Here’s the Sports Drink recipe I make for my family.
MY SPORTS DRINK RECIPE:
400ml Organic Coconut Water (read the label, make sure nothing else has been added!)
Handful Organic, Fresh Raspberries
Pinch Seaweed Salt
OPTION – Add Raw, Organic Honey to taste (or replace with a pure, organic Maple Syrup)
TIP – Raw Honey helps to reduce the metabolic and cellular stress of anaerobic exercise.
- Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
MY BANANA-CHOCOLATE SMOOTHIE RECIPE:
1 Ripe Banana (Cut into quarters and frozen is best)
1 teaspoon Organic Cacao Powder
Pinch Seaweed Salt
1/4 teaspoon Changing Habits Cinnamon Powder
Dash Organic Vanilla Extract
400ml Your Choice of Milk (Non-homogenised Cow’s Milk, Organic Coconut Milk, Homemade Almond/Macadamia Milk)
OPTION – Add your choice of liquid sweetener to taste, eg. Raw Organic Honey, Organic Maple Syrup
OPTION- Add a pinch of Cardamom Powder (it seems to round out the flavour of the Cacao Powder)
OPTION – Add 1-2 teaspoons Changing Habits Chia Seeds or an Organic, Free-Range Egg (or both) for protein (a great option if having this smoothie for breakfast!)
- Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
For those who have been following me for a while and have made some of my recipes, you’ll notice I add a pinch of Seaweed Salt wherever I can – now you know why!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and learning more about salt and the choices you have when it comes to staying hydrated.
Until next time, stay salty everyone…seaweed salty, this is! 🙂