There are 14,000 known uses for salt, according to the Salt Institute, the North American based non-profit trade association dedicated to advancing the benefits of salt. They claim that salt is the world’s oldest food additive and on their website highlight some of the benefits:
(Keep reading, you’ll get to the point of this post soon!)
- One component of salt, sodium (Na), is involved in muscle contraction including heartbeat, nerve impulses, and the digestion of body-building protein.
- Sodium is the major extracellular electrolyte responsible for regulating water balance, pH, and osmotic pressure;
- Salt is important in nerve conduction. Because of sodium’s importance to your body, several interacting mechanisms, including generation of hormones angiotensin and aldosterone, adjust the system in the event of consumption of insufficient amounts of salt which would threaten the body’s nerves and muscles and interference with the sodium-potassium “pump” which adjusts intra- and extra-cellular pressures. If your salt intake varies widely, these mechanisms activate to assure that your body remains healthy, maintaining a relatively constant blood pressure;
- The other component of salt, chloride (Cl) is also essential to good health. It preserves acid-base balance in the body, aids potassium absorption, supplies the essence of digestive stomach acid, and enhances the ability of the blood to carry carbon dioxide from respiring tissues to the lungs;
- Because salt is essential to good health, the human body is hard-wired with an innate salt appetite;
- Iodized salt is used by 70% of the world’s population to protect against mental retardation due to Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD);
- Many countries fortify salt with fluoride against dental caries in situations where fluoridating drinking water is inappropriate;
- A growing number of countires fortify salt with iron to prevent anemia;
- Salt brings to food far more than one of the five basic taste sensations (sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami); it enhances other tastes. Sweets taste sweeter. Salt masks bitter tastes, making naturally bitter foods like chocolate and broccoli become delicious;
- Before recorded history, men learned salt’s key role in food safety and preservation by retarding the growth of spoilage microorganisms.
OK, here’s the point. Today at church I talked about the followers of Jesus as being a “redemptive presence in our community”. I wasn’t the first to say that. Jesus said it, not exactly in those words, when he said to his followers: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. He then went on with a different image, but same theme: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
What do you to stay salty and remain alight? Use the comment section to share your thoughts.