Blogs     Women's Health    

Why I Am A Salt Of the Earth Gal

Our problem with salt has a lot to do with where nature put us on the food chain

Dr Padma Garvey/Plant-Based Doctor Mom

Why I Am a Salt of the Earth Gal

Salt is something we usually take for granted until our body has too much of it or too little of it.  Several years ago, my family and I went on a hiking trip in the Grand Canyon.  It was the middle of July so it was hot.  Before each day’s hike down the canyon, we made sure we had enough water.  On one of the hikes, I began to experience a pounding headache and nausea.  I had been sweating a lot and so I thought I was dehydrated.  I drank as much water as I could but still felt really bad.  I struggled with the hike back up to the rim.  As soon as I got to the rim, I drank two bottles of Gatorade and had two bags of salty potato chips.  I instantly felt better.  That day reminded me how much the human body needs salt.  Now don’t get me wrong.  The human body needs some salt but not a lot.  In fact, today most people are suffering from salt overload not a salt-deficiency.


Our bodies are designed to hang on to salt at all costs.  That is why so many people have high blood pressure nowadays.    Our bodies think we live in the savannahs of Africa where retaining salt is imperative.  Creatures that eat mostly plants may need to get some salt because plants naturally have very little salt in them.  Farmers need to supply their livestock with salt licks to ensure they get enough salt.  Wild herbivores like gazelles and deer make treks to natural salt licks to make sure they get the salt they need.  The lions lurking at the salt licks aren't there for the salt because they are going to get all the salt they need from the gazelle or deer they are about to eat.  Meat has salt in it.  So animals that eat meat don’t need any added salt in their diets. 

In today’s world, people who consume meat, animal dairy, and processed foods will get 4-10 times more salt in their diets than people who stick to an unprocessed, plant-based diet.  This is why many people with high blood pressure who switch to an unprocessed plant-based diet tend to have a marked improvement in their blood pressure.  By making such a switch, they reduce salt consumption in half without even thinking about it.

Other articles by Padma Garvey