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Water for Health Blog: Promoting better health through hydration and nutrition.

At Water for Health we encourage everyone to take responsibility for their health. We consider it vitally important that people make informed choices with regard to their wellbeing. It is important to become informed on issues that dictate the quality of our lives. At Water for Health we consider good nutrition and proper hydration to be vitally important and this blog focuses on helping to enhance their importance and in particular the benefits of maintaining proper body alkaline balance.

No health claims are made or implied. Any reader contemplating implementing any suggestion made in any article should discuss with their health practitioner. Any guest posts do not necessarily represent the views of Water for Health.

Table Salt vs. Himalayan Salt - Why Himalayan Salt is Nutritionally Superior

In recent years, the natural health community rejected table salt in favour of Himalayan salt. Increasingly, you would find pink salt instead of white salt on their tables. There are several good reasons for this switch, the most important of which is that Himalayan salt is vastly nutritionally superior.

Mining and Processing
Like everything else we eat in the 21st century, white table salt is industrially processed until it hardly at all resembles natural food. It is normally mined from salt mines or sea water that have been open to contamination for decades or centuries. To remove the "impurities" that detract from its perfect whiteness, it is dried at a temperature of around 600 degrees celsius and picked over with magnets and other filtering devices to remove metal, rock, and mineral contents. Salt in this form tends to cake, however, so it is then shipped to factories where anti-clumping chemicals are added. Iodine is also added to prevent iodine deficiency.

Most Himalayan salt on the other hand, is obtained from the Khewra Salt Mine in the Punjab region of Pakistan where lava, ice, and snow have protected it from contamination for centuries. It essentially contains no impurities that should be removed, which eliminates the need for excessive processing. It is usually hand washed, stone-ground, and no industrial chemicals are added.

Nutritional Value
Once the processing of table salt is completed, the salt contains almost 99 per cent of sodium chloride, one per cent of anti-clumping chemicals, and a bit of iodine. All the healthy minerals that are a natural part of salt are missing.

Instead of simply being almost pure sodium chloride, Himalayan salt contains around 95 per cent of sodium chloride and five per cent of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, chromium, zinc, manganese, cobalt, copper, nickel, and dozens of others.

The minerals come from two sources: firstly, they are in the salt rock in their natural forms and secondly, the sodium chloride is contaminated with polyhalite, which is essentially evaporite minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. In other words, even the sodium chloride contains minerals.

Sea salt also contains some of these minerals, but many of them are removed during processing. Organic sea salt is normally obtained from areas that have been protected from contamination and the amount of industrial processing is kept to a minimum. Still, at this stage there are no laws that regulate the organic sea salt industry, so it is difficult to know where exactly it comes from and how it has been protected against contaminants, such as arsenic and heavy metals, that are common in seawater.

The Importance of Minerals

Iodine is essential for proper thyroid functioning, metabolism, cognitive operations, and so forth. Food sources include eggs, dairy, and meat. When eating an alkaline diet, be sure that these items make up the 20% portion of the acidic foods permitted to keep your pH in check (slightly alkaline). It can also be found in kelp, which few people want to eat several times a week.

Table salt manufacturers add it to their products precisely because poor consumers in the developing world eat too few animal products for sufficient iodine intake. A better option than table salt, however, is to eat Himalayan salt and take an iodine supplement. Nascent Iodine is an iodine supplement that has been designed especially to mimic the iodine your thyroid produces, in a completely bioavailable form.

Calcium is an extremely important mineral of which table salt deprives us due to its acidic nature. It helps to:

  • develop and maintain strong bones and teeth,
  • stabilise blood pressure,
  • plays a definitive role in blood clotting,
  • helps with cell-to-cell communication,
  • assists your body in alkalising your blood,
  • plays a role in normal brain function,
  • and it helps your body absorb vitamin D (which is also essential to develop and maintain strong bones).

Magnesium is equally important. This mineral helps to:

  • promotes the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth,
  • helps with muscle contractions,
  • supports the heart muscle,
  • is essential for normal nerve function,
  • helps to regulate blood glucose levels,
  • and it contributes to a healthy metabolism.

Potassium helps your body:

  • maintain a healthy alkalinity,
  • is essential for proper fluid balance,
  • promotes muscle contractions,
  • contributes to normal nerve function,
  • supports the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth,
  • and it helps to regulate blood pressure.

Most of your body's iron is tied to haemoglobin in your red blood cells. Without iron, your bone marrow cannot make new red blood cells. With too few of these, you will be permanently physically and mentally exhausted.

Iron is vital because it:

  • transports oxygen through your body,
  • it removes carbon dioxide from your body,
  • contributes to the conversion of blood sugar to energy,
  • helps to produce the enzymes that, in turn, produce new cells,
  • and it is required for a healthy immune system.

More Water is Needed to Break Down Table Salt
While scientists have not been sufficiently interested in types of salt to study the differences officially, the natural health community believes strongly that your body uses more water to metabolise table salt than it uses to break down Himalayan salt. The latter absorbs water, as you will find out if you leave your jar open on your kitchen counter. Table salt, on the other hand, is made specifically to repel water to prevent it from becoming moist too quickly.

Accordingly, your body must pull water from its cells to dissolve and process table salt properly. This means that you must drink more water, but it also means that your body must hold onto water that it would otherwise be happy to excrete. An excess in body fluid contributes to cellulite, breathing difficulties, coughing, pressure on your heart, swollen legs and face, varicose veins, and many other unpleasant conditions.

Better Absorption of Key Minerals
Unlike that of heavily processed table salt, the crystalline structure of Himalayan salt is natural, with all its crystals connected with each other. This facilitates the absorption of the sodium chloride and important minerals often lacking in our diet. The unnatural, disconnected crystalline structure of table salt makes it difficult for your body to absorb.

Natural Treatment Options for Degenerative Joint Disease

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and the most common type of degenerative joint disease, according to the World Health Organisation. Worldwide, 9.6 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women over the age of 60 battle with it. Continue reading

12 Health Benefits of Drinking Hydrogen Rich Water

By now most of us know that British tap water contains some heavy metals (primarily from the soil and rusty water pipes), hormones (from the drugs people and cattle farmers flush down their drains), fluoride (that some municipalities add deliberately), and drug residues (that people flush down their drains). Continue reading

10 Great Reasons to Supplement With Vitamin D This Winter

Now that the summer is over and the darker half of the year is starting, it is important to consider the health benefits of vitamin D. Vitamin D does not occur in adequate levels, naturally, in food. Your body does produce good amounts from the sunlight but this is when you allow yourself to be exposed! That is why it is vital to ensure that you receive enough of it during the time of the year when sunlight is in short supply. Continue reading

Unusual Symptoms of Dehydration & How Best to Tackle Them

A large number of people suffer from dehydration without being aware of it. This is not the severe type of dehydration from which you suffer when you take an hour long run at midday on a summer afternoon that might put you in hospital, but rather the mild to moderate level on which so many people live almost permanently. The consequences are equally grave in the long term, and they are easily avoidable if you know the signs that you are dehydrated. Continue reading

How to Help Your Pet Age Gracefully the Natural Way

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Moringa: A Highly Nutritious Supplement With Several Medicinal Uses

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Are Your Drinks Eating Away Your Teeth?

Teeth enamel is the hard shell that covers the crown of the teeth to protect them from damage caused by biting, chewing, extreme temperatures, and acidic substances. Without the enamel, we would have developed many more cavities and the nerves inside our teeth would have been open to the painful sensations of chewing and the extreme temperatures of the foods and drinks we put in our mouths. We can adopt certain practices to prevent this shell from eroding.  Continue reading

Looking to Resolve Mental Health Problems Naturally? How These Suggestions Could Make Antidepressants Your Last Resort

Every few years, the Health & Social Care Information Centre publishes a survey of the psychological problems the British public experiences. Approximately 25 per cent of people here experience depression, anxiety, or mixed depression and anxiety every year. Most of us either grab at a synthetic antidepressant or simply suffer through it in silence. Continue reading

Oesophageal Cancer, Cholesterol, Athlete's Foot, and Diarrhoea: What Researchers Say About Natural Interventions

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Heavy Metal Toxicity and Mineral Deficiencies May Contribute to Migraine

Most migraine sufferers hunt for the trigger of their migraines by attempting to identify the common event that precedes their migraine episodes. This search is often unsuccessful, precisely because it seems as if many different events can bring on the episodes. In response, some researchers have performed blood, hair, and urine tests on migraine sufferers to find the physical characteristics they all seem to have in common. Continue reading

How Heavy Metal Detoxing Can Help Combat Diabetes

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The Potential Health Risks of Microwaving Your Food

Microwave ovens are quick and convenient for anything from warming yesterday's leftover lasagne, to cooking today's vegetables, and baking cakes. They tend not to burn food, so the dishes are easier to clean. Your family may pay a high price for this speed and convenience, however, which should make you think twice about using them as the food becomes perpetrated by microwaves and violently mutilated.
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Symptoms of Acidosis and Natural Treatment Options

Acidosis is a condition from which your body suffers when the pH of your blood and tissue drops below 7.35. It means that your cells cannot function properly and may even die because their acid content is too high. Typical Western foods and beverages, such as white bread, sugary pastries, salty crackers and crisps, meat, dairy, fast food, coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks, tend to cause acidosis. Stress and lack of exercise also contribute. Continue reading

Can the Alkaline Diet Help Your Indigestion Naturally?

A large percentage of people suffer from some form of ingestion, including heartburn, bloating, gassiness, and constipation. In the 21st century, it is unfortunately so easy to visit the pharmacy and purchase medicine that we ignore the causes of the condition. As a result, we never give ourselves the chance to attempt the healthiest and most natural treatment options. Most forms of indigestion are easy to overcome with an alkaline diet. Continue reading