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1. The premise that salt leads to hypertension has never been scientifically supported. On the contrary, studies show that a reduced-sodium diet leads to health issues. In one study, subjects consuming less than 2300 mg. (the recommended daily allowance) of sodium per day had significantly higher mortality rates (meaning a higher risk of death) than the subjects consuming 2300 mg. or more sodium per day.
2. Salt aids blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity. A low-salt diet increases insulin resistance and even moderate dietary salt restriction is shown to cause systemic insulin resistance.
3. Salt is a natural antihistamine. A pinch of salt sprinkled on the tongue may help improve an allergic reaction or an asthma attack (source).
4. Your body needs salt to maintain the proper stomach pH. Stomach acid is hydrochloric acid and salt is sodium chloride. Proper stomach acid levels are absolutely foundational for good digestion, but 90% of Americans have low stomach acid. Learn how to correct low stomach acid naturally.
5. Salt lowers adrenaline spikes. Adrenaline is a necessary and important stress hormone, but it is just that… a stress hormone. When adrenaline patterns are out of rhythm, it takes a toll on the body (source).
6. Salt improves sleep quality. It boasts anti-stress and anti-excitatory qualities due to its suppression of stress hormones and it increasing of the metabolic rate. This may explain why many people report that a low sodium diet interferes with sleep and an adequate amount of dietary salt improves sleep quality.
Interestingly, if you often wake up with your heart pounding between 2 and 4 AM, it is probably because of an adrenaline spike. The most important change is to reduce both physical and mental stress, as well as eating a healthy diet. But one immediate fix to help you go back to sleep is just a pinch of salt and sugar (or salt and honey, if you prefer) sprinkled on the tongue to calm the adrenaline peak (read more about it in this book!).
7. Adequate salt consumption encourages a healthy weight and fast metabolism. First, one studyshowed that increased salt intake leads to an increase in the elimination of cortisol and lower blood cortisol levels. Imbalanced or excess cortisol means weight gain and a stagnant metabolism.
8. Salt supports thyroid function by reducing circulating stress hormones. For example, cortisol is anti-thyroid, but salt combats excess cortisol.
9. Salt supports hyperosmolarity of the extracellular fluid. Slight hyperosmolarity–more solutes in the extracellular fluid than in the cell–actually increases the cell’s metabolic rate (source). That means salt can speed up your metabolism! On the other hand, when the extracellular fluid is hypo-osmotic in relation to the cell, it impairs the breakdown of proteins and glucose and thereby lowers the cell’s metabolism.
10. Increased sodium intake also correlates with increased thermogenesis–heat production by the body (the study is here).
11. Adequate salt supports balanced hormones. Hormone and nutrition researcher Ray Peat explains the correlation between the salt-regulating hormone aldosterone and mineral loss