Salt might just be the greatest gift to the culinary arts in the history of the universe.
Scratch that. Not “might”. It definitely is.
Sweets? Chocolate? I mean I guess they’re nice. I do love me a good piece of chocolate cake, especially during my pregnancies. But salty and savoury have always been my first love.
(My husband likes to tell the story about when we went to a steakhouse during one of my pregnancies, and when the waiter came to ask for our drink orders, I ignored the question and asked entirely seriously, “Before I order, I need to know: do you have chocolate cake?” I was fully prepared to find another restaurant if the answer had been no. Pregnancy cravings don’t mess around, y’all.)
When it comes down to it, though: if I was going to a be marooned on an island, I’d send up fervent prayers that it would be with a good book and an all-you-can-eat taco truck. In fact that sounds like a downright vacation. Amen.
You can imagine my sheer delight, then, when I learned that there is actually a medically-indicated rationale for why I SHOULD be consuming EXTRA sea salt in my diet right now.
Ooooooh, lawd a’mercy, hallelujah! Hands in the air like I just don’t care.
(Cue enthusiastic dance moves.)
Extra Salt for Adrenal Fatigue?
Yes, friends, it’s true. It’s important for adrenal fatigue sufferers to consume extra salt in their diet. I’m not talking so salty that it’s gross, of course. I’m talking about the art of tuning in to your body, listening to its cues, and then salting to taste.
Your salt cravings may just be trying to tell you something!
I noticed around two years ago that food tasted bland most of the time. I found myself reaching for the salt shaker a lot. Not one to be worried about government-imposed dietary “advice”, I wasn’t too worried, and salted my food to taste even if I used more than those around me.
It turns out that I was right to listen to my instincts. My body was in the beginning stages of adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue causes the adrenals to under-produce aldosterone – a steroid hormone crucial to regulating salt and potassium levels in the body. When there isn’t enough aldosterone, the body tends to excrete too much of the important minerals in the urine, such as sodium, which leads to salt cravings.
One of the easiest ways to help this particular adrenal fatigue symptom is to simply consume extra sea salt. Most adrenal fatigue treatment advice includes a recommendation to consume salt in some way – whether it’s salted water, in a smoothie, or just on your food, to taste.
My Happy Adrenal Power Smoothie calls for salt for this reason. (And, since the aldosterone imbalance also causes the body to retain too much potassium, I deliberately didn’t include bananas in the recipe.)
Reminder: Salt Isn’t Bad for You (in fact, it’s required for health!)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: saturated fat isn’t harmful (and doesn’t lead to heart disease), butter is actually super healthy, and you don’t get high cholesterol from eating things like eggs.
And of course, one of my favorites: a low-sodium diet isn’t only pointless, it’s potentially harmful. (Don’t eat low-sodium processed food and think you’re doing yourself any favours.)
Eat unprocessed whole foods, and salt it to taste with a high-quality, unrefined sea salt with minerals, like Redmond Real Salt (which I’ve been using for many years).
A word of warning: it’s extremely important to choose a real, natural salt instead of refined table salt, which is bleached and contains additives – sometimes even sugar!
I always choose Redmond because it is a natural sea salt that contains over sixty trace minerals for our health, is natural and unrefined, and tastes amazing, too.
Related R&H post: Bring on the Salt! Why I Don’t Restrict My Sodium Intake
3 Ways I’m getting Enough Salt
1. Salting food liberally (until it tastes good to me)
2. Drinking salt water every day (add 1/4 tsp to a large glass of water, stir, and drink slowly)
3. Adrenal-friendly smoothie – my own recipe, found here.
The salt that I love and recommend: Redmond Real Salt
The best book that I’ve read on adrenal fatigue to date is The Adrenal Fatigue Solution.