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Seawater as a healthy substitute for refined salt

Seawater as a healthy substitute for refined salt
2. 7. 2020

„Salt is worth more than gold,“says one Czech proverb. However, does this really apply to every type of salt that we use in the kitchen when preparing food? Today we will take a closer look at refined salt and the reasons to stop using it and replace it with, for example, an appropriate amount of seawater.

Refined salt

Salt is a crystalline compound – sodium chloride (NaCl) – which occurs in a mineral form (halite), as a component of seawater, and in many other forms. 
It is used not just to flavour food, but also as a preservative, as a treatment for roads and pavements during winter, in the chemical industry or in medicine in the form of a saline solution – a 0.9% aqueous sodium chloride solution.
Salt that has undergone a technological purification process to cleanse it of impurities is called refined salt.

Refining

Most of the refined salt on the market has been mechanically harvested from various salt mines in the form of brine (a concentrated solution of water and inorganic salts).
Before mechanical evaporation, chemicals are often added to the brine to extract the other minerals it contains. These are then sold for industrial use. These minerals in salt are referred to as “impurities”.
The next step is to evaporate the water at high pressure and temperature, causing the crystalline structure of the salt to break up. As a final stage, most of the moisture is removed from the salt in a fluid bed dryer.

Why is salt refined?

Perhaps you are asking why salt needs to be refined. Here are the four main reasons:

  1. It is an important source of minerals for industry – just 4% of the residual NaCl product is used for cooking after other substances are filtered out.
  2. Following the removal of all the minerals but sodium and chlorine, the refined (“pure”) salt is essentially an inert product. This guarantees it a long shelf-life and a longer period in which it can be sold.
  3. Manufacturers believe that snow-white salt looks more attractive to customers and sells better. This pure white colour is obtained by industrial bleaching.
  4. If the salt is obtained from a polluted area, refining can remove harmful substances from the salt.

Why should we stop using refined salt and replace it with seawater?

  1. Using seawater in cooking gives the finished dishes a much better and richer taste.
  2. Seawater contains a precise balance of 78 minerals and trace elements that are necessary for the proper functioning of the human body. In contrast, only 2 or 3 of these elements are found in refined salt.
  3. Refined salt has a different crystalline structure than natural salt and affects the body in different ways.
  4. Compared to refined salt, seawater is also richer in other substances such as vitamins, carotenoids, fatty acids, polypeptides, organic acids, enzymes, polysaccharides, polyphenols, chlorophyll, natural antibiotics and antifungals.
  5. The elements in refined salt are inorganic and difficult for our body to absorb. The human body must then extract minerals from internal sources, which depletes them.
  6. By contrast, the activity of phytoplankton and zooplankton in seawater means that it contains elements in organic form that are easier for the body to use. The minerals can bind to other substances in the body, where they remain available for use.
  7. Refined salt contains a 10% higher dose of sodium than seawater, which can lead to various health complications.
  8. Drinking seawater helps to strengthen the immune system and maintain a stable pH value in the internal environment (homeostasis) of the body. Seawater has a high pH value (up to 8.4) and is thus alkaline. This should be borne in mind when dealing with acidification of the body.
  9. Seawater supplied to the market is properly filtered and purified, so there is no need to worry about undesirable impurities. This process does not diminish its natural properties.

It is widely known that refined salt is harmful to the human organism. Its risks are due not only to its sodium content, but also to the chemicals that are added in the refining process and its chemical structure. We therefore recommend completely eliminating refined salt from your diet and replacing it with living, liquid salt – seawater.

How much seawater to use?

We ourselves avoid refined salt for health reasons and use seawater for seasoning at home.

Are you wondering how much seawater you should add to your cooking? You can do the same as you would with any other salt and add it to taste. In the kitchen, a seawater spray can make life easier, for instance when making a salad. 

Beside using seawater in cooking, we also drink it for the reasons outlined above. It has been shown that salt can have positive effects on health when used in reasonable quantities. We use it for this purpose in a diluted (isotonic) form. It is best to dilute it in a 1:3 ratio, i.e. 250 ml of seawater and 750 ml of fresh water (tap water). This ensures a proper supply of all the minerals for your body throughout the day. This daily amount can be consumed in several portions. 

Microfiltered, isotonic (diluted) seawater can be drunk regularly to provide the body with the full benefits of this natural product, as well as necessary hydration.

Effects of seawater on human health

The above paragraphs show that seawater has a number of beneficial effects on the human body. It contains a full spectrum of organic, freely dissolved minerals and trace elements in a very similar proportion to blood plasma. This enables the body to benefit from synergies between complementary substances that increase their effectiveness. 

For example, sodium, together with other minerals (magnesium, zinc and other trace elements), is indispensable for the proper functioning of the human body. On the other hand, if it does not have the other substances to help it, sodium can damage the body. 

Besides strengthening immunity and maintaining homeostasis, seawater can have the following effects:

  1. Ensuring adequate nutrition. Seawater contains almost all the minerals and trace elements of the periodic table in organic form thanks to phytoplankton and zooplankton. It is therefore able to meet a wide range of nutritional needs on the cellular level. 
  2. Regulating blood pressure. A sodium deficiency can cause blood pressure to drop below the normal limit (around 120/80), causing hypotension. When standard refined salt is withdrawn, seawater helps to moderate high blood pressure.
  3. Preventing dehydration. Seawater (salt) containing sodium and chlorine ions helps to maintain hydration and electrolyte balance, which is vital for proper organ function. Our cells, muscles and tissues need water to function, and salt helps them maintain the necessary amount of this fluid.
  4. Keeping the thyroid gland working as it should. The thyroid gland is an organ located in the lower part of the throat that plays an important role in metabolism. To work properly, it needs iodine, which is usually added artificially to most varieties of salt on the market. It is naturally present in seawater, however, and also in a form the body can more easily use.
  5. A treatment for illness. Some doctors have used seawater as a treatment for illnesses such as diabetes, liver cirrhosis, rheumatism, arthrosis, allergic rhinitis, psoriasis or various heart diseases with great success.

Salt is not just a great cooking ingredient, but can also help you to improve your physical health. It does need to be handled with care though, because, as another proverb says, “there are two sides to every story.”
 

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