.According to experts, as much as 60 to 80 percent of the population suffers from some level of adrenal fatigue, a condition with symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, difficultly dealing with stress, and trouble feeling energized even after a full night’s rest. (Read more about adrenal fatigue here.) Interestingly enough, another common symptom of adrenal fatigue is salt cravings, and there's actually a strong physiological reason for this.
When the adrenal glands are fatigued, they fail to produce adequate amounts of several hormones, including adrenaline, cortisol and aldosterone. Lack of aldosterone can disrupt the sodium balance at a cellular level. This can actually increase your needs for natural sodium and helps explain the salt cravings many people with adrenal fatigue experience (and perhaps even why certain people favor salty foods more than others).
"Our salt-phobic society has deprived millions of people struggling with adrenal fatigue of something that would decrease their symptoms and speed their recovery. They have taught their bodies to ignore the urge for salt because it is politically incorrect to salt food." - from Adrenal Fatigue:The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James Wilson
How to Heal the Adrenals with Sea Salt
First and foremost, choose a high-quality brand of unrefined natural salt. Table salt can’t offer a fraction of the benefits of sea salt, which contains sodium in a more usable state in addition to vital trace minerals that will further encourage adrenal healing. (Read more about the differences between conventional salt and genuine sea salt.)
You can find a quality source of natural salt here on my Resources page.
Once you have a good quality salt, you should always salt your food to taste. Someone with adrenal fatigue will naturally enjoy more salt on their food, whereas someone with healthy adrenals will generally prefer less.
Many people with adrenal fatigue also benefit from taking an additional 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of salt with a glass of water in the morning and evening, and throughout the day as needed. I do this on a regular basis, and it really seems to help. The salt can be mixed with the water or you can take it like I do: straight on the tongue and then chased with a glass of water.
It’s important to allow your body to dictate how much natural salt you use in your diet. Most people with adrenal fatigue tend to like the taste of added salt to their food, and won’t mind the taste of the salt-water mixture or even putting sea salt straight on their tongues. If you are working on healing your adrenals, as time passes you may notice that the salty taste is less appealing. Excess salt may even make you nauseous. This is typically a signal that your sodium needs are decreasing and that you should cut back on your intake.
Please note: For most people with adrenal problems, sea salt therapy is highly beneficial and has few side effects. However, there are a few exceptions: those with heart disease, hypertension or kidney disease should consult with a professional first as salt may be contraindicated.
This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade and Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist.