What about Salt? How much Salt do we need? Is it possible, or wise, to go without added salt?
Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days. Hence the Christian tradition for fasting in Lent. During my childhood it was customary to give up something for Lent, like sweets, or chocolate, or alcohol for adults. It is a healthy tradition generally!
This year I was reading the book by Michael Gregar, called “How Not to Die”. I thought I was doing pretty well as I read it, til I came to the part on Salt. He noted that we get the salt we need (about 1500 milligrams per day) from wholeood. But we also add so much salt to food that we end up eating around 3000 milligrams each per day on average. And, of course, too much salt is NOT good.
I was amazed to read about how excess salt hardens our blood vessels, and drives up blood pressure over our lives.
So I resolved to try 40 days without salt. Given that I tend to be liberal when adding salt to food, it was quite a challenge.
In the end, I managed to go 40 days without any added salt. And the results? Did I get weak from lack of salt? Or did I notice any health improvement.
Well, certainly no weakness. I was juicing celery, and eating spinach, both of which have so much sodium as to actually taste salty, so I was not deficient in Sodium.
I did notice health benefits. I juiced super healthy beetroot during the 40 days. Beetroot is known for its immediate effect on cardiovascular performance. And the effect seemed more pronounced as the forty days progressed: Swimming lengths in the pool became easier as the time went on, very noticeably so. I seemed to need less breaths for every length, and I felt comfortable while swimming. The “Betaine” which gives beetroot its red colour, improves oxygen uptake from the blood. Not having bloodvessels hardened by excess sodium could only help in that process.
Apart from that, I look ten years younger! Well, maybe not, but certainly no bags under my eyes. Excess sodium forces our body to hold on to water, to dilute it prior to excretion. This causes puffiness. In fact, we can be heavier than we ought to be, just because of this excess salty water.
Altogether it has been a great experience. Most notable was the salty taste in my mouth for almost two weeks after I stopped adding salt!
I am planning some classes in the coming months, and I will be demonstrating delicious recipes that are free from added salt.
Send me a message if you would like to hear more about those classes.