Salt And Anxiety, Insomnia, Hyperactivity & MORE!

I'm not great at explaining biochemistry, however, it has come to my awareness that SALT could be a primary culprit ~ whether directly or indirectly ~ in many of our diseases of modern civilization, including anxiety, migraines and headaches, poor thyroid function, and hyperactivity or attention deficit disorders ~ in addition to high blood pressure (HBP), hypertension, diabetes, stomach and other cancers, arthritis and more!  

In this post, I'll focus on the connection between salt and anxiety, insomnia and hyperactivity in general.




Salt is a compound containing 40% sodium and 60% chlorine.  Both sodium and chloride can be found in sufficient supply in natural foods,   Yet, sodium and chloride, like fluoride, has become ubiquitous in our food and water supply to our detriment.  Fluoride and sometimes salt is also added to most toothpastes, fluoride and chlorine are added to water.  And of course, chlorine or sometimes salt is also added to pools and hot tubs.

Salt itself is found in nearly every type of packaged food ~ including flavored protein powders, flavored collagen powders (a popular supplement produced from beef, pork, fish, and/or chicken bones, depending on which brand you buy), ice cream, cookies and more.  Baking soda and/or baking powder plus salt are  added to most baked goods, while salt is added to most breads.  People are consuming much more salt than most realize.


I recently cleared out some items from our pantry, a few of which were cleaned out from Don's parent's pantry after they both passed.  Take a gander at sodium content, remembering that sodium is 40% of the salt content, and chloride (not shown in food labels) is 60%.


Ketchup with 160mg sodium per tablespoon


Low-sodium chicken broth with 140mg sodium per cup
(Generally, if using to make a pot of soup, more than 1 cup is added, which adds up.)



Pace Salsa - 125mg sodium per tablespoon (serving size says 2 tbsp.)   You can 
imagine how this could add up when consumed with salty chips!


Yep, we got rid of all of it!

Canned tomato sauce with 470mg sodium per 1/2 cup ~ if making a spaghetti sauce
or any other dish, are you using only 1/2 cup?  Not typically!


A store brand of organic marinara sauce with 0g added sugar.  How great!
Except it has 460mg sodium per 1/2 cup!  If adding 1 cup of sauce to 
a plate of pasta, that's nearly 1 full gram of sodium.  1 tsp. salt equals 5600mg, with 
2325mg sodium & 3400mg chloride.  Sea salt provides slightly less sodium than dozed salt.



A beef broth that is not low-sodium, with 430mg of sodium per 1/2 cup


To help illustrate the toxic effects of salt, consider the following two uses of salt:  

What is put on icy roads during the winters in northern climates?  Salt.  What typically happens to cars that are not kept in garages in these areas?  They rust.  Is that because of the salt, or the icy, slushy conditions?

When Don and I relocated back to the Midwest, several folks in the auto business took note of Don's rust-free car.  It's nearly 25 years old, yet free of rust.  It does rain in Arizona.  His car was in rain, and scorching heat.  Yet rarely does it snow, at least in the Phoenix Valley area.  Well, okay, it surprisingly snowed twice in the last several years, but that was a fluke and it melted quickly.  Meanwhile, most cars in the Midwest that survive on the road over 20 years are riddled with rust.  The salt ~ not the water alone ~ destroys the metal.  METAL.  Imagine what it is doing to your gastro-intestinal tract and arteries?

Secondly, salt is used to preserve food.  Why?  Because it kills bacteria.  It KILLS life.  That makes it anti-life, which these days in my book makes it anti-Christ too.  It's not new info either!  According to this article, "References to the destructive power of salt (sodium chloride) are numerous in ancient writings."

Jesus is the Word (Logos), the Creator of ALL life.  He IS the Way and the Truth and the LIFE!  Therefore, if something is anti-life, one could surmise it is anti-Christ.  Just my hypothesis.  

I know, I know, you may be thinking about Matthew 5:13:

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?  It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. ~ESV

The Hebrew word for salt in Matthew 5:13 is halas (Strongs G217) which means figuratively, prudence.    The word for savor is moraino (G3471) which means to become insipid; figuratively to make (passively act) as a simpleton:  become fool, make foolish lose savor.

Remember, Jesus speaks metaphorically and in parables.  To be salty is describing one's character.  To lose salt is akin to losing one's focused and intentional sense of purpose, or as some Pastors say, unction.  Plus, when Lot's wife turns back while leaving Sodom ~ after being warned not to ~ she is turned into a pillar of salt.  Turning back towards the ways of the world led to her death by salt!  

Plant life is destroyed by salt from the roads, even when windblown at a distance.  The harmful effects of salt and salt water on plants has been known since at least the fourth century BC!

According to one study:

Natural salt seepage from geological marine deposits makes adjoining inland areas unfit for agriculture.  However, accumulation of salts in the soil from irrigation water is much more problematic in agriculture.  Millions of acres of land have gone out of production on account of saline soils.

According to an estimate, about one third of irrigated land on Earth is affected by salt stress....Presence of high salt concentrations in the soil is a common and important stress factor in deserts.

Another interesting hypothesis or conjecture worth pondering:

Are we unwittingly creating a spiritual desert within our soul while simultaneously turning our lands into deserts?

God's Word is Law

When I feel emotionally disconnected, it feels like a deep stabbing pain to my heart.  This feeling of disconnect was a big driver in my life.  That 'feeling' of disconnect could be likened to a spiritual desert. 

Reminder needed here:  we are more than what we think or feel.  Our feelings of disconnect (abandonment, rejection, alienation, loneliness and the like) can feel painful, and that pain feels very raw and real, but overcoming requires us to replace these feelings with Truths ~ that God loves us, in spite of ourselves.  When we know truth ~ the truth of God's Word ~ we can remind ourselves of that truth during those moments when we aren't really feeling that truth.  

In other words, God's Word or Truth doesn't change.  

God's Truth is unchanging.  It's universal.  We are not talking about everyone go their own way moral relativism type 'personal truths' here!

Scriptural verses fill us with hope.  God's laws remind us of the Way to live healthy, fruitful lives, because when we trust Him, and are obedient to His Ways and Words ~ His laws, statutes and judgements ~ we reap the benefits of abundant life including fruitful vineyards and fields.  (Deuteronomy 28) Efforts of labor are abundantly rewarded.  Life as it's meant to be, marked by blessings of good health, abundant fields, and fertile, fruitful flocks and herds.  Not a dry, infertile or barren desert ~ physically or spiritually.
 
We are hard wired in our fleshly being to seek pleasure, and avoid discomfort.  We deal with threatening situations through the fight, flight and freeze emergency alert system, as I discussed here.  Anxiety, and challenging situations, such as when feeling humiliated, embarrassed, ridiculed, disrespected, dismissed, rejected, etc., can trigger this fight, flight or freeze. 

People instinctually attempt to restore emotional balance, although not always in healthy ways.

One way people may try to cope with discomfort is through binging on alcohol, drugs, food ~ including salty, fatty foods and/or sweets, or other forms of distraction.  Salt excites.  Sugar calms.

Those with depression may describe having low vitality, low moods, low motivation, a lack of enthusiasm.  They feel joyless.  Every task can feel like a monumental effort.  Life can appear to lack color and brilliance.  One often feels alienated and alone.  As I wrote in a previous post, most of our thoughts are negative, which in itself can bring us down.

Metaphorically, when down or depressed, an image of a withering flower comes to mind, no longer in full bloom, but rather in a state of decay, turning brown and drab.  Similarly,  one could describe these feelings as being all dried up. Like life lacks juice.  Again, the landscape of one's spirit seems barren, like a desert.

Those with anxiety may experience more hyper symptoms, including racing thoughts.  A hyper need to do things, to control situations, or keep busy.  Anxiety is like having an ongoing fight or flight cascade of hormones flooding the system, never really discharging.  

Salt and Anxiety, Insomnia, Hyperactivity and MORE!

Sodium and potassium are part of our electrical system.  Sodium is typically found in the extracellular fluid.  According to Karel Sporek, author of Salt and The Seven Deadly Ills

Excessive use of salt is bound to increase the electrical activity in the body over that normally generated by the presence of potassium.  This will be due to both the sodium and the chloride ions, since both are strong electrolytes.  Thus, all physical, mental and nervous activities will accelerate, resulting in the external manifestation of hyperactivity.

He explains this by the phenomenon of sodium atoms being half the volume of potassium ions.  Therefore, if one ingests a high sodium, low potassium diet, some cells which would be filled with potassium ions will be filled with sodium ions ~ twice as many as they are half the volume.  Since each atom has an electrical charge, two atoms will have greater activity than one.  

This may be contributing to the increased number of people dealing with hyperactivity and/or insomnia or poor sleep.  I don't know about you, but I tend to have heightened emotional sensitivities and anxious thinking when I don't sleep well for several days in a row!  And, I've noticed having much better sleep since reducing my intake of salt.

When we don't sleep well for ongoing periods, our energy and moods will go south.  We are more prone to stress and anxiety when not getting adequate sleep and proper nutrition!

Salt is also linked to increased appetite and obesity

Many declare, "This will make my hair turn grey!" when under stress.  Salt can even accelerate your hair turning grey, and your bones going into decay as the body pulls calcium and minerals from the bones to neutralize excess sodium chloride!  Lord knows I wish I knew that about a decade ago!  Or more!

Salt can cause hypertension and heart disease. 

Salt melts water.  When we sweat, we sweat excess salts.  When perspiration dries on our skin, it gets dry and crusty.  That is unless your cat starts licking it up first!  

Ever have constipation?  I consider this a disorder due to lack of flow, physically or spiritually speaking.  Salt is drying.  It pulls water out of the intestines.  Contrarily, potassium moistens.  Potassium is life!

Salt, like stress, is creating decay in our body ~ causing drying, lack of flow, and hyperactivity ~ and destroying our environment!  A physical and spiritual desert!

If salt has a role in all these conditions and many others, it's worth it to me to experiment with going on a very low-salt diet, as crazy as that may be to others who love their salt. 

I've been greatly reducing my salt intake for about a week.   In addition to sleeping better, if I do wake up during the night, I no longer have racing brain.  When I consume added salt, my brain and nervous system  turn on like a switch ~ often at 3:00 or so in the morning ~ causing me to toss and turn, sometimes for well over an hour.   

Ever experience racing brain?  Talk about frustrating!  Song lyrics would pop into my head, or a barrage of thoughts....which led to more thoughts...which led to anxious thoughts.  I'd suddenly find myself having anxiety, and endless mental chatter that I could not shut off no matter what I tried.  This salt and anxiety connection is for real!

I know it's still pretty early to tell, as it takes time to eliminate sodium and chloride from the body.  So far, the results of consuming a much lower sodium, nearly salt-free diet have been positive.

You can read more details about the many negative health effects of high salt, low fruit and potassium-rich diets, and biblical references to salt on our Meats & Sweets blog, currently still found at https://www.thehypercarnivore.com.   Be sure to check back as Don and I continue to add more posts.

One thing EVERY diet Don and I tried had in common ~ whether vegan, macrobiotic, or very low-carb, Carnivore / Ketogenic was salt.  It's the one ingredient we all seem to overlook when trying to improve our health, not to mention our moods.

In summary, could excess salt be causing or at least contributing to anxiety, depression, constipation , hyperactivity and other mental and physical diseased conditions?  You bet.

Most people believe sugar is the problem, not salt.  From my perspective, considering how little seems to be written connecting salt and anxiety and a host of other health problems makes it all the more suspect.  Contrarily, from my experience, sugar can be very calming when anxious or stressed, however, I'll save that discussion for another post, or read It's Not The Sugar on our Meats & Sweets blog.

Getting salt out of the diet is perhaps a bit challenging, but worth a try.  It's far cheaper than going to a shrink and being put on pharmaceuticals which could by the way further worsen your health, long term.

It's all connected, at least in my humble opinion.

Perhaps it's time to water our inner gardens.  Get rid of the salt that's drying us ~ and our lands ~ up.  Restore the lush beauty, color, and fruitful abundance of the original garden God intended for us.

As an added bonus~


Below, I've included a few of the blessings the Israelites could expect to enjoy when obedient to God's Laws, followed by the curses when disobedient, found in Deuteronomy 28.  





BLESSINGS:

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock––the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. ~Deut. 28:4

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.  ~Deut. 28:5

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hands to.  The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. ~Deut. 28

Sounds like life will be fruitful and lavishly abundant! 

CURSES: 

Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. ~Deut. 28:17

The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. ~Deut. 28:18

The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought... ~Deut. 28:22 

The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder... ~Deut. 28:23

These are among the mildest of the curses by the way!  It gets much worse!  Read the entire chapter, here

Sound like a dry, barren desert!  


What do you think?





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