Mar 18, 2009

Got Salt

Our bodies need salt to function, but an interesting tidbit many do not know is that salt stimulates a pleasant sensation in the brain, according to a new study by the University of Iowa. Salt deprivation is one of the symptoms associated with depression. There are many long and involved studies show the goodness of salt and overuse leading to other health problems. I'll leave them for another day.
Other things from salt - The salt shaker ministries in Kentucky, the word salary comes from the Greek word for salt, one of the four taste sensations is saltiness (along with sweet, bitter, and sour), Roman soldiers were paid in salt. Taking a dip in the Dead Sea is good for healing psoriasis.

(A fifth, less often mentioned taste sensation is Umami is a whole new sensual pleasure. It is a multidimensional taste sensation that is not only savory, brothy and mouth filling but actually interacts with the other taste receptors, think of MSG, and fermented fish sauces, such as Worcestershire. It is a powerful taste that we have known since we were a baby, yet its mysterious interaction with other taste receptors make it hard to describe.)

Old wives' tale - Salt does raise water's boiling point, but you would need a full ounce per quart to raise it one degree.

Sea salt and table salt have the same nutritional value, but taste different because of other chemicals. Sea salt has more calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Did you know table salt has iodine and additives that prevent it from caking, like it did in the old days? I am not ready to start salting my bacon, but I like salt, because it makes me feel good. Bottom line: just like many other things that make you feel good - use it, but don't abuse it.