Salt (sodium chloride ) is the most valuable gift of nature, necessary to maintain the life of a person and all living beings. The sodium ions included in the product are involved in the contraction of muscle fibers, the transmission of nerve impulses. Therefore, an insufficient concentration of these compounds in the human body causes increased fatigue, general weakness, and the appearance of neuromuscular disorders. At the same time, an excess of the element leads to an increase in blood pressure, fluid retention.
Ion chlorine in salt is the main material for the production of hydrochloric acid, which is an important component of gastric juice.
Interestingly, living organisms in nature cannot survive without salt. Doctors say that it is vital, because it maintains the normal acid-base balance of the body, metabolism, and also serves as the main source of sodium, without which the full functioning of internal organs is impossible.
According to the World Health Organization, the daily salt intake for an adult is 5 grams. At the same time, keep in mind that sodium chloride is found in many foods (semi-finished products, sauces, canned food, vegetables, sweets, carbonated drinks, cookies, chocolate, cheeses, sausages, herring, bread).
Today, there are many varieties of salt, which differ in color, taste, chemical composition, as well as the degree of grinding and purification. It is easy to get lost among the wide range. Which one should be preferred?
Types of salt:
- Iodized. Useful for people living in ecologically unfavorable areas. Contraindicated in hyperactive thyroid.
- Extra. It is an "aggressive" type of salt, since it contains exclusively pure sodium chloride. In the process of product production (evaporation of water, cleaning with soda), all useful trace elements are destroyed, so it is practically of no value to the human body.
- Stone. It is a natural salt of a grayish color, extracted from mines.
- Black. It is a natural unrefined product. Improves digestion, has a laxative effect. Black salt contains potassium, iodine, sulfur, iron.
- Cooking. In fact, it is bleached rock salt, in granules.
- Marine. The most useful product, a natural source of trace elements. It consists of: sodium, chlorine, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, silicon, iodine.
Sea salt is extracted from the water expanses of the planet. It is much more useful than stone or cookery. Its color (gray, pink, black, red) and taste (rich, delicate or pungent) are determined by the native algae and clay found in the evaporation ponds. It is used for the treatment of sinusitis, pneumonia, periodontal disease, hypertension, rheumatism, in case of poisoning.
According to the place of extraction, the following subspecies of sea salt are distinguished: "Maldon" (England), "Terre de Sel" and "Sel gris" (France), "Rose" (Bolivia), " Himalayan" (Pakistan), "Hawaiian Red" or "Hawaiian Black", "Kala namak" (India), "Persian Blue" (Iran).
- Diet. A distinctive feature of this species is a low sodium content. The composition of dietary salt includes potassium and magnesium, which support the work of the heart and blood vessels.
Salt is classified according to the method of grinding (coarse, medium, fine), purity (highest, first, second grade).
The product is actively used in the food industry, medicine, and cosmetology.
In cooking, coarse salt is used exclusively for preserving vegetables, salting fish, making soups, cereals. Medium grinding is used to improve the taste of marinade, dry salting of meat, and baking fish. Fine salt is added to ready-made dishes (snacks, salads), served at the table. It dissolves quickly, does not creak on the teeth.
The greatest value for the human body is sea salt extracted from inland seas and salt lakes.
Consider the uniqueness of such a gift of nature.
Importance of sea salt for the body
Salt extracted from the depths of the sea has unique qualities. In laboratory conditions, scientists have not yet been able to derive its analogue, despite the fact that the composition of the crystal has long been known. Esotericists claim that salt obtained from sea water has a great power of natural energy, which fills the human body with harmony and health.
From time immemorial, sodium chloride has been used as a natural preservative to increase the shelf life of foods. Based on it, compositions were prepared to prolong youth and beauty.
The beneficial properties of sodium chloride are due to the presence of sodium, potassium, calcium, bromine, magnesium, iodine, zinc, silicon and iron in the composition.
The effect of salt on the human body:
- regulates and maintains water balance, sodium-potassium ion exchange within the normal range;
- relieves spasms of smooth muscles;
- supplies the body with macro- and microelements, in particular sodium;
- calms the nervous system;
- promotes the synthesis of hydrochloric acid;
- inhibits putrefactive processes in the gastrointestinal tract (due to antiseptic properties);
- speeds up metabolism;
- promotes the formation of cell membranes, the formation of red blood cells;
- maintains normal hormonal, lipid metabolism, gonadal function;
- improves the condition of the skin.
Salt acts as an anti-allergic, disinfectant agent. It is useful not only to use it inside, but also to use it externally as baths, inhalations, as part of masks. So, salt compresses under the eyes relieve bags, rinses with the addition of soda relieve inflammation of the tonsils, and baths relieve swelling of the legs.
Ways to treat diseases with salt
When the first symptoms of ailments appear, do not rush to go to the pharmacy, you can improve the condition by folk methods, without the use of synthetic agents.
Sea salt has antibacterial, antiseptic, wound healing effects. It is used to prepare solutions for washing the nasal passages, gargling, baths, inhalation. It is a natural disinfecting, anti-inflammatory agent that fights ARVI diseases, colds, rheumatism, arthrosis, and neutralizes radiation.
- Inhalations. They are prescribed for the prevention and treatment of respiratory diseases, have a general strengthening value. The principle of operation of the procedure is based on the fact that with the inhalation of therapeutic steam, useful substances enter the lungs, which kill pathogenic microorganisms, disinfect the mucous membranes of the larynx and nasopharynx, relieve swelling, dilute sputum, and saturate the tissues with biologically active compounds. As a result, the patient's well-being improves, the disease recedes faster.
Inhalations with sea salt have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic effects, are useful for runny nose, cough.
To enhance the effect, put pine extract, nettle, eucalyptus, sage or linden blossom in the teapot. Such inhalations are carried out 2 times a day.
To make a therapeutic steam, dissolve 30 grams of sea salt in a liter of water. Bring the resulting mixture to a boil, cook for 5 minutes. Breathe this solution for 10 minutes. To eliminate problems with the upper respiratory tract, inhale through the mouth, exhale through the nose; for the treatment of diseases of the nasopharynx, the procedure is reversed.
Inhalations are contraindicated in hypertensive patients, people with heart and lung failure, nosebleeds, elevated body temperature, children under 2 years of age.
After the procedure, you can not strain your throat, go out into the cold air, it is advisable to lie down for 30 minutes.
- Washing the nasal cavity, gargling. Symptoms of a cold, sinusitis, tonsillitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, rhinitis recede if the mucous membranes are disinfected with saline. This is the safest and most effective way to cleanse the nasal passages of pathogenic mucus. Salt washing increases local immunity, removes microparticles of irritants (bacteria, pollen, dust), strengthens capillaries, reduces swelling of the mucous membrane, and speeds up recovery. A solution with sodium chloride reduces inflammatory reactions, reduces the likelihood of infection of the body.
How to prepare a disinfectant for washing the nasal passages and gargling: Dissolve 7-10 grams of plain sea salt in 500 milliliters of hot water. Cool the solution to an acceptable temperature (it should be warm). Perform the procedure 3-5 times a day.
Remember not to use cold saline for gargling or rinsing the nose as it may worsen the patient's condition.
- Sea bath. Medicinal properties: relieves rheumatoid spasms, restores mobility and flexibility of joints, relieves osteochondrosis, skin diseases (psoriasis, neurodermatitis, vitiligo, eczema). Hot baths with water temperatures up to 42 degrees are effective for arthritis, neuropsychiatric disorders, liver and kidney pathologies. The course of treatment - 10 - 15 procedures, lasting 15 minutes, daily or every other day. Contraindications: diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Preparing a bath: draw water up to 35 degrees, dissolve 1.5 kilograms of sea salt. Lie down with your feet slightly higher than your head (this will make the heart work easier). Procedures should be carried out in the evening no later than 1 hour before bedtime.
To relieve nervous tension, add aromatic oil of chamomile, lavender or lemon balm (a few drops) to the bath.
Why is salt called "white death"?
This term refers to ordinary table salt. Such a product is completely refined and devoid of useful properties. Therefore, for ingestion and external use, it is recommended to use exclusively sea salt enriched with trace elements. During the production process, it is not subjected to heat treatment, so the product retains a maximum of nutrients in the composition.
Excess salt in the body
Interestingly, sea salt is 97% sodium chloride, and the remaining part (3%) is mineral compounds, necessary for human life.
Sodium normalizes kidney function, maintains normal water-salt balance, neuromuscular activity, participates in muscle contraction, transport sugar blood into cells. Without this element, the growth of the body, the normal functioning of internal organs is impossible.
By interacting with chlorine, sodium resists the leakage of fluid from blood vessels into nearby tissues. It is impossible to overestimate the role of this element for a living organism.
In a healthy person, blood sodium levels range from 135 to 145 millimoles per liter. The shift of this balance up or down indicates the presence of "hidden" problems in the body.
Long-term excess salt intake (over 10-15 grams per day) develops hypernatremia, accompanied by cellular dehydration.
Other causes of sodium accumulation in the body:
- type 2 diabetes;
- malnutrition (uncontrolled consumption of fast food, semi-finished products);
- hereditary predisposition;
- insufficient amount of water consumed (less than 1.5 liters per day);
- taking mineral preparations;
- violation of water-salt metabolism;
- dysfunction of the adrenal glands, kidneys.
- fluid retention in the body (edema);
- increased body temperature;
- excessive excitability;
- decreased kidney function;
- constant thirst;
- lethargy, loss of strength;
- joint pain;
- dark yellow urine;
- frequent headaches;
- muscle cramps;
- arterial hypertension.
- muscle fibers are stretched, their function is weakened (reaction to impulses worsens);
- develops renal failure, nephritis, inflammation of the canals;
- blood thickens, pulse quickens, chronic hypertension appears;
- increased risk of stroke, heart attack;
- develop arrhythmia, tachycardia;
- appear fatty deposits (plaques) on vessel walls;
- the regulatory function of the hypothalamus is reduced.
To eliminate the symptoms of hypernatremia and improve the patient's condition, the amount of salt consumed should be strictly controlled and reduced to a critical minimum of 3-5 grams per day. In addition, a strict diet, medication, outpatient treatment is prescribed. The goal of therapy is increased excretion and blocking of salt deposits.
Remember, self-medication is dangerous to health. Therapy is prescribed by the doctor after compiling a clinical picture of the patient's health.
First, add sodium chloride to the dish a little at a time, tasting each time. Secondly, for salting food, it is better to use a flavoring additive of medium or large grain size (it will take less). Thirdly, flavor the dish at the end of cooking. Fourth, replace it with hot peppers, spices. So you will reduce the consumption of sodium chloride, avoid the development of dependence and regulate the salt balance.
Causes of hyponatremia:
- insufficient dietary salt intake (less than 0.5 grams);
- cirrhosis of the liver with ascites;
- polycystic kidney disease;
- decompensated diabetes mellitus;
- chronic renal failure;
- nephrotic syndrome;
- diseases of the digestive tract;
- taking diuretics;
- hypersecretion of antidiuretic hormone.
- decreased skin turgor;
- dryness of the dermis;
- leg cramps;
- decreased urine output;
- confusion, hallucinations;
- loss of appetite;
- drowsiness and lethargy;
- weight loss;
- muscle weakness;
- frequent infections
- low blood pressure.
- worsening of food digestion;
- decrease in plasma volume;
- leaching of salt from bones;
- increased accumulation of harmful nitrogenous compounds that undermine health;
- disruption of the vestibular apparatus.
Treatment of hyponatremia involves the use of drugs and foods containing sodium.
Food sources: sea salt, sauerkraut, pickles, broths, soy sauce, cured meats, tomatoes, celery, eggs, fish seafood.
Myths about salt
Disputes about the benefits and dangers of sodium chloride originated from ancient times, and do not subside to this day. Some argue that it is necessary to reduce daily salt intake to a minimum. Others, on the contrary, call for the inclusion of a flavoring additive in the daily diet so as not to “injure” the body.
Myth #1 “Salt is poison”
This is not true. Sodium chloride is the most valuable gift of nature, which was worth its weight in gold several centuries ago. The benefits of salt for the human body are invaluable. Its chronic deficiency can lead to death. The chlorine and sodium included in the product are involved in the course of vital functions: the transmission of nerve impulses, the transport of oxygen in the blood, and the implementation of muscle movements.
In moderation, not exceeding the daily allowance, salt is a product that supports human health. However, when used in excess, its benefits turn into harms. In this case, the expression "salt is a white poison" is fully justified, since hypernatremia can literally kill a person.
Myth #2 “A Diet Without Salt”
Currently, there is an erroneous assumption that by refusing to take sodium chloride, a person begins to lose kilograms due to the breakdown of fat. This is partly true. A salt-free diet will help eliminate up to 4 kilograms in 14 days. However, in this case, weight loss is not due to the breakdown of body fat, but as a result of dehydration. Together with the liquid, minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium) are washed out, the deficiency of which leads to an electrolyte imbalance in the body. As a result, a person has rapid fatigue, dry hair and skin, loss of strength.
Lack of salt in the body is accompanied by the development of diseases of the cardiovascular system, depression, osteoporosis and anorexia.
Sodium chloride should not be completely abandoned, as this will lead to undermining health.
To date, nutritionists have agreed that a salt-free diet will do more harm to the human body than good.
Bile salts, calcium, phosphates, and urates are often deposited in the human body. This group of chemical compounds has nothing to do with sodium chloride. The most important aspect is the ratio of the amount of salt consumed and excreted. Interestingly, to maintain life, the human body absorbs only the missing part of sodium chloride. At the same time, the excess is excreted in the urine. In case of metabolic disorders, salts begin to accumulate in the gallbladder, joints, and kidneys. As a result, the outflow of bile is disturbed, severe pain occurs, cartilage is destroyed, the pelvis becomes inflamed, and stones form.
Thus, when it comes to salts, it is not sodium chloride that is meant, but the content of chemical compounds in tissues.
Myth #4 “Destroys teeth”
True, sea salt, if you chew its crystals, can damage the enamel. In other cases, this statement is nothing more than erroneous. Salt is eaten exclusively in dissolved form, in which it cannot harm the teeth. On the contrary, it is used together with soda to treat sores in the mouth and strengthen the gums.Myth No. 5 “Increases blood pressure”
Excess salt in the body causes the development of atherosclerosis, negatively affects the mechanism that controls blood pressure. In addition, with excessive use of sodium chloride, the need for fluid increases sharply, which leads to an increase in the load on the heart and blood vessels. As a result, swelling of the limbs is observed, and bags appear under the eyes. Therefore, hypertensive patients are advised to reduce the daily dose of salt.
Sodium chloride is used in everyday life for the following purposes:
- so that it does not crack when cooked shells on eggs (add to water);
- so that the cookies do not burn in the oven (pour under the molds);
- so that bugs do not start in jars with cereals (put a bag of salt on the bottom of the container);
- to remove greasy stains from clothes (rub with salt);
- to eliminate the smell of fish mud (rinse in a saturated saline solution);
- so that colored laundry does not fade during washing (add to water);
- so that the first pancake comes out “not lumpy” (wipe the pan);
- so that dry mushrooms acquire their former appearance (soak in salted milk );
- so that damp firewood flares up faster (sprinkle with crystals);
- to soften terry bathrobes and towels (rinse with salted water after washing).
Salt as a beauty product
Sodium chloride has a beneficial effect on nails, skin, and hair. Sea salt is used in beauty salons for scrubs, peels, baths, anti-cellulite products, compresses and masks. Procedures based on sodium chloride relieve inflammation, normalize skin fat balance, cleanse the dermis and make it more elastic.
Beauty recipes at home
Relieves tension, soothes sensitive and irritated skin, rejuvenates.
How to prepare a bath: Dissolve 500 grams of sea salt in warm water, add 200 grams of dried seaweed, 50 milliliters of honey and 500 milliliters of milk. The procedure is carried out every other day, 10 sessions.
Purifies the skin, removes impurities and dead cells from its surface.
To prepare a scrub, mix 15 grams coffee grounds, finely ground sea salt, a few drops of essential oil and 15 milliliters of natural oil ( sesame, grape seeds, olive, almond). Apply the resulting mixture with gentle massage movements on the body, rinse with warm water.
Eliminates orange peel, nourishes and tightens the dermis, improves blood circulation. The active components of the product have good penetrating power and help to remove fat from the deep layers of the skin. However, to eliminate cellulite, an integrated approach is required, including the passage of tightening procedures, exercise, and adherence to a therapeutic diet.
To make a fat burner, mix medium sea salt with thick honey until a smooth paste is obtained. Apply the anti-cellulite composition to the problem area with light massage movements. Pat the smeared places until the funds are diluted on them. Wash off with warm water.
To smooth the dermis and burn fat deposits in the subcutaneous tissue, repeat the procedure every other day until a lasting result appears.
To enhance the effect, add grapefruit oil (a few drops) to the honey-salt mixture.
To prepare a saline solution, dissolve 30 grams of soda and 30 grams of sodium chloride in 250 milliliters of warm water. Soak your nails in the bath for 15 minutes, do not rinse. Perform this procedure daily for 14 days, before going to bed. So the salt will "work all" night.
Sodium chloride strengthens the nail plate, makes it elastic and dense, and also saturates with useful minerals. Thanks to this, it ceases to exfoliate, crumble, break, growth accelerates.
Removes blackheads, has a whitening effect, suitable for combination and oily skin types.
To prepare the peel, mix the following ingredients: cream (15 milliliters), finely ground sea salt (30 grams), cottage cheese (15 grams). Apply the mask on your face, rub it for 30 seconds with massage movements. Rinse your skin with warm, then cool water.
For owners of very oily skin, it is recommended to add an additional ingredient to the composition - soda (5 grams).
Compress for varicose veins
N. I. Pirogov, more than 50% of the world's population suffers from swelling of peripheral veins under the skin. As a result, the movement of blood through the vessels worsens, nodes are formed, and the valve apparatus is destroyed. The veins begin to experience pressure, swell, hurt, become tortuous, acquire a bluish color. The vessels are stretched, characteristic "cobwebs" are formed. The main factor in the appearance of pathology is the insufficient development of connective tissue.
Symptoms of varicose veins: heaviness in the legs, pain, convulsions, swelling of soft tissues, burning in the veins, hardening on the lower leg, discoloration of the skin. If the disease is not treated in time, the changes spread further, there are: trophic ulcers, pigmentation, induration, phlebothrombosis, malnutrition of the dermis, rarely - temperature, weakness, bleeding when the nodes break.
A compress for varicose veins has warming properties, relieves pain and improves general well-being.
Method of preparation: dissolve sea salt in warm water in the ratio 1: 1, cool. Moisten gauze in the resulting solution, apply to the problem area, fix with an elastic bandage. After the procedure, rub the treated area.
Sea salt stimulates bulbs, enhances the growth of curls, normalizes the sebaceous glands, relieving the scalp of dandruff and excessive fat.
In addition, sodium chloride stimulates blood circulation, cleanses the dermis of dead cells, improves hair nutrition in the root zone, prevents strands from falling out, and improves their structure.
Sea salt is rubbed into the scalp or used to make masks. In the first case, finely ground powder is applied with massaging movements on clean, damp hair for 15 minutes, then thoroughly washed off, dried naturally. To strengthen the structure of the hair of medium length, you will need 30 - 50 grams of sodium chloride.
A salt-based hair mask is more gentle on the scalp. Ingredients: 30 milliliters of yogurt or kefir, 30 grams of sodium chloride. To nourish the scalp, you can add honey, eggs, essential oils. The ingredients are mixed, applied to the hair roots, distributing along the entire length. The head is wrapped in a plastic bag. The mask is left for half an hour. Wash off with shampoo. Do not blow dry.
In order to avoid discomfort and pain, “salt” procedures are carried out only when there are no injuries or scratches on the scalp. The course of therapy is 21 - 28 days, not more than 2 times a week. If necessary, repeat the procedure after 2-3 months.
With frequent use of salt masks, the hair will lose lightness and elasticity, become hard and unruly, so do not abuse it.
Remember, the effectiveness of procedures depends on the regularity of performance, strict adherence to proportions in the process of preparing the medicinal composition and application rules.
Folk beauty recipes with salt are much safer and more beneficial than products with chemical dyes, flavors.
Harm and contraindications
Sodium chloride turns into a poison for the body in case of an excess of the product in the daily diet. Exceeding the daily norm is fraught with vision problems, poisoning, and nervous disorders.
- renal failure;
- sexually transmitted diseases;
- acute infectious diseases;
- stomach ulcer.
In the presence of these pathologies, the human body is not able to cope with the processing of sodium chloride. As a result, the benefit of the product turns into harm: the course of the disease worsens, the general state of health worsens, which reduces working capacity and limits its vital activity.
Salt - despite many myths, the elixir of health, long life and youth. In moderation (up to 5 grams per day), it accelerates metabolism and wound healing, prevents infections, forms cell membranes, calms the nervous system, restores hormonal and lipid metabolism, and improves the condition of skin, nails, and hair.
Sea salt provides the greatest value for the human body.
It is a natural source of macro- and microelements (calcium, bromine, magnesium, iodine, zinc, iron, silicon).
It is useful to use sodium chloride not only inside, but also to use it externally in the form of compresses, rinses, baths, scrubs, masks.
People who are prone to systematic oversalting of food are advised to limit the consumption of this spice due to the following flavorings: rosemary, paprika, cilantro, garlic, basil, pepper. But remember, an overabundance is no less dangerous than a lack.
People on a salt-free diet are advised to suck on a pinch of sodium chloride daily to maintain their acid-base balance without harm to health.
In the process of choosing a product, pay attention to the information on the label: grade (highest, first, second), grind size (fine, medium, coarse), name (regular, iodized), production method (sedimentary, vyvarochnaya). Salt should be dry (not stuck together in a piece of stone), with an up-to-date expiration date. Store in a cool place, in a tightly closed container, without moisture. Iodized salt should not be left in the light, otherwise it will lead to the loss of a volatile element. Such a product is stored in a dark place.
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