The Salty Side of Things

Salt on wooden background

Salt, so much more than the box in your Oma’s cupboard! Not only that, it comes in various forms now too. How do you know which one is best? Which ones are for cooking? And, which ones have benefits outside of the realm of food?

Everyone is familiar with table salt. Most will be familiar with sea salt, and a number of you will have heard of Himalayan salt. All of these are options to flavour food, create a scrub or to gargle with warm water to aid a sore throat.

The added bonus of sea and Himalayan salts is they have not been treated and cleaned to the level that table salt has. In the process of making table salt, all the minerals aside from sodium and chloride are stripped from the salt, and as well, it is bleached and refined to look like it does as it comes out of its box. Since 1924, table salt has had iodine added to it as a preventative of iodine deficiency, which is a known cause of hypothyroidism.

Salt is often perceived as unhealthy, especially in large amounts, because it can bind water in the bloodstream and raise blood pressure. The daily recommended intake of sodium for Canadians is 2300 mg. This equates to approximately a single teaspoon amount. A very high percentage of sodium found in the Standard American diet comes from processed foods, so be mindful. You may not be adding it to your food, but eating a lot of processed and packaged foods will already contain it. If you make sure the majority of your foods are wholesome, homemade and unprocessed you should have no problems with taking in too much sodium.

Sea salt is made by evaporating sea water. It too is mostly sodium and chloride. One thing we need to remember however, is the oceans have become quite polluted so sea salt can also contain trace amount of pollutants, such as lead. Sea salt is often less ground than table salt so therefore provides a more granular texture and more flavour, and can contain small amounts of minerals.

Himalayan salt is harvested in Pakistan. It contains small amounts of calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium, and lower amounts of sodium than regular salt. Some will notice a difference, as the flavour is often a bit milder. The main difference is noted in the colour. The pink hew that you see is a from the trace amount of iron oxide.

There appears to be no scientific evidence that shows Himalayan salt provides more health benefits in comparison to either table or sea salt. It does however, contain several minerals, though the doses are small and therefore some believe it is unlikely to bring any notable health benefits.

Both sea salt and Himalayan salts are wonderful for a nice soak, regardless of what part of your body is soaking in it!  Feet, hands, or all of you! Epsom salt as well is a great option. Here’s a fun fact….epsom salt isn’t actually salt at all! It’s a mineral found in water that contains high levels of magnesium and sulfate, which is what is primarily made up of. Any of these above options create a wonderful relaxing at-home spa experience. They will help draw out toxins, cleanse the skin and most importantly, help you relax. Add some essential oils or bubbles to have a wonderfully scent filled experience! Not much beats a hot soak with a good book and a glass of your favourite beverage to sip on! Self-care at its best!

Worth its weight in gold

Aaahhhh, the golden hue of flax! Some call it one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet as it shows some evidence that it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Whether you consume this as a seed, or its oil form, flax has benefited many people in a variety of ways. Not bad for such a small seed that was around as early as 3000 BC.

Flaxseeds contain a group of nutrients called lignans, which contain powerful antioxidant and estrogen properties that may help prevent breast and prostate cancer, as well as other types of cancer. In fact, flax seeds contain up to 800 more lignans than other plant food sources.

Flax is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the two essential fatty acids that you have to obtain from the foods you eat, as your body doesn’t produce them. This makes them a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially if you are a vegetarian or don’t eat fish.

Studies done on animals have shown that the ALA in flaxseeds prevented cholesterol from depositing in the blood vessels of the heart, reduced inflammation in the arteries and reduced tumour growth.

Just a single tablespoon provides protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to being a rich source of some vitamins and minerals.

Another great fact about flax is, in its ground up form, it’s a fabulous fibre source, containing both soluble and insoluble fibres. These are beneficial in supporting the colon and achieving regular bowel movements. The insoluble fibre also supports digestion keeping you feeling full longer, as well as reducing blood sugar, which is beneficial to diabetics.

Keep in mind though, flax seed oil and ground flax seed are both very vulnerable to both light and heat. Keep the oil in the fridge and do not cook with it, as heating it makes it rancid. Rather drizzle it on foods after cooking, or use it in a salad dressing. Ground flax ideally should be ground and consumed, but seeing that most of us don’t have too much spare time, an alternative is to grind some up and store it in a container in your freezer, taking it out as needed. Add some to a smoothie, your bowl of yogurt or cereal, or sprinkle on your foods once cooked. Its nutty taste is fantastic and its health benefits are astounding!

WHO IS HIIT GOOD FOR??

Is the class for a certain type of person?
It’s for everyone essentially. The instructor will give various options to people depending on their fitness level. No matter how fit you are we can tailor the workout to challenge you.
Where could I go to do HIITSTEP?
LiV Personal Training Studio

Classes starting

Monday JUNE 3,2019

5 Weeks $49.99

Mondays 530pm-6pm
$15 drop-in

DIFFERENT,,, HOW??

How does HIIT Step differentiate to other HIIT classes?
The USP is the music, all the workout is engineered to the music. Also, as I have mentioned before, the workout has been developed by Gb 🇬🇧 Olympians.
What are the benefits to doing the class?
The main benefit is weight loss. The high intense workout is great at burning fat. The other benefits are improving your power, flexibility, endurance and it keeps heart health. Another benefit is how quick the class is, it’s only half an hour long so it doesn’t take much of your time up.