The Salty Flavor, The Good & The Bad

Our biggest and most mysterious resource provides the best minerals for our health and wellness. Our oceans make it, contain it and transform it. It’s salt.

Salt has gotten a bad rap for many centuries. It is feared by many due to the belief and “research” that it is the cause of several diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, edema and decrease in kidney function, to name a few. The truth is that not all salt is the same.  There are two types of salt, those that are processed, made in a lab, and sold as ionized table salt, and those that are unadulterated natural salt made by the seas and oceans. 

Let’s dive deeper into the salty ocean of it all.

Fake salt vs. Real salt

The following foods are all made with processed salt. What I will refer to as fake salt. These foods include ionized table salt, ionized salt, salty potato chips and pretzels, salty nuts, dairy, and Chinese food filled with MSG and processed meats. These foods are all made with salt that have their natural nutrients removed, and therefore contain additives. These salts are man-made. WebMD says so right within the following article on their website. Link here. I love how they say that table salt and natural salt are basically the same. How could they possibly be? One is natural and the other man-made.

So what’s the point? Those foods listed above contain zero nutrients nor do they contain real salt. There are no naturally forming minerals in those salts. They are junk and your body physiologically suffers from fake salt especially the undisclosed “additives.”

Why does your body suffer? Because it still has to process the adulterated salt. Salt made in a lab contains foreign agents to the body. Your body will do its best to break down the fake foreign chemicals, but they aren’t biologically viable to the body. This type of salt actually causes damage to the blood vessels and organs. When the body can’t distribute and use these agents properly they have a negative effect on the system. This is where we see blood pressure issues, swellings, and dehydration. There is absolutely no nutrition found in man-made salt. Those fake salty foods actually force our body to use more energy than it would to break down healthy real-deal salty foods. That overuse of energy and struggle to process foreign substances is why we feel like crap after eating salty chips, heavy deli meats, or dairy. 

If you don’t believe me, eat salty fake foods for two-three days in a row, multiple times a day, then comment below and tell me how you’re feeling. I bet you’ll feel sluggish, heavy in the head and eyes, have brain fog, lack of energy, and many other less-than-favorable symptoms.

Why salt is necessary?

Okay, enough bashing the fake stuff. Let’s get into what makes salt so good for your body.

Real salt is smooth and contains several necessary trace minerals. When we use real salt on food, it enhances the flavor, and helps to neutralize the food’s natural acidity. An example of this would be salting your organic grass-fed meats to decrease the meats acid. This enhancement and neutralization happens because of the naturally occurring trace minerals found in sea and ocean salt. The specific ratio of trace minerals found in salt all depends on where in the world the salt came. All salt is primarily sodium chloride, and most contain zinc, potassium and iron.

All those trace minerals sound familiar, ya? That’s because we absolutely need trace minerals.

why you crave the salty flavor

Your body is craving the salty flavor because it wants salt! More specifically, your Kidneys and Bladder are asking for salt. That’s right, according to Chinese medicine, the salty flavor has an affinity for those two organs. Salt is serving to the overall health and functionality of your kidneys and bladder. They need salt to physiologically work properly. 

Take a look at the negative symptoms listed above when consuming too much salt. Most of them are associated with issues concerning the Kidneys and Bladder. 

Chinese medicine tells us that the salty flavor is cooling in temperature because it is made from the cold ocean. Salt is more yin in property than yang. Minerals are heavy, (yin) and heaviness sinks to the lower areas of the body. Your bladder, kidney and reproductive organs all live in the lower area of your body and benefit from salt.

We want to nourish and eat more salty foods in the wintertime. Winter is yin, summer is yang. Salt is yin. When we eat more salty foods during the yin time of the year, we then have those fluids and resources for the hot, summer months. As opposed to going into the heat of summer lacking resources, which can further exacerbate dehydration, and inability to tolerate heat. 

The salty flavor isn’t the only flavor we need. There are four other flavors that Chinese medicine principles are based on. Those flavors are: sweet, sour, spicy/pungent, and bitter. I’ll be writing on each of these other flavors soon!

Benefits of the salty Flavor

Natural occurring sea and ocean salt contain many benefits. When used moderately, trace minerals like those found in salt are excellent for dissolving stiffness in the body and reducing accumulations or lumps like congested vessels, cysts, fibroids, kidney stones, and tumors.

Salt also moistens. It moistens our bowels to facilitate healthy bowel movements and provide moisture when constipated. It moistens our skin and rehydrates our entire body. Think about how fresh and silky your skin feels after a swim in the salty ocean. Now, think about how you feel after you eat fake salty processed foods. We’re usually thirsty afterward. The reason for this is osmosis. Your body cannot use the fake salt efficiently and thus pulls the water from your body to help deal with and process the excess salt. 

Most humans walk around dehydrated, and when you put fake salt in an already dry dehydrated environment, it will absorb any water you already have. And remember, man-made fake salt contains no actual viable minerals or nutrition. So, your body must hustle to break down and move these toxins. That hustle takes energy, water, and resources a dehydrated body doesn’t have. As a result, you’re thirsty, tired, foggy-headed, and clambering for water to balance the osmosis.

Learn more about combating dehydration in my post, Add this to Water to Avoid Dehydration

When you eat and use real salt, you are providing your body with essential minerals like sodium chloride, zinc, magnesium and potassium. All of which hydrate the body. These trace minerals provide moisture to all organs, including the brain, skin, hair, and nails.

Do you take a multivitamin? I bet it contains those necessary trace minerals listed above!

The heaviness of the trace minerals contained within the salty flavor also helps to calm our mind. It is useful for general anxiety, restlessness, mania, and ruminating thoughts. 

Natural salt can also be used to alleviate constipation and moisten the bowels.

Real deal healthy salty foods

Avoid junk food like salty chips, MSG, processed meats and eat these instead:

Seaweeds (kemp, kombu, dulse, nori), soy sauce, miso, millet, barley, natural salt, olives, pickles and other foods fermented with water and high quality salt, umeboshi, beets, and greens such as chard, spinach, parsley, and celery.

Use real salt like Celtic sea salt, Mediterranean salt, pink Himalayan sea salt. There are hundreds of different salts produced by our beautiful oceans that we can purchase. Be sure to read the label to ensure its real sea salt.

I hope this information serves you. Post comments or questions below, or schedule an appointment.

As always, stay curious!


Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.