Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Flor de sal- pure "joie de vivre"

 Jumping with joie de vivre
 I love this expression. I have to admit I have a penchant for those kind of expressions and this one touches on a subject close to my heart: Joy. To see  people reconnecting with their inner joy is something very special.The enjoyment of life and the exhilaration it exudes is something very important to our wellbeing. Besides making your life more enjoyable, Joy is a powerful immune booster. It is also the fountain of youth, and I am so happy to say that the same is true of salt.
Take this lovely story for example.The oldest documented person who ever lived was a French woman named Jeanne Calment, who made it to a grand old age of 122 , 21 February 1875 – 4 August 1997.She attributed her longevity and youthful appearance for her age to a diet that included a lot of olive oil for both eating and putting on her face. She said, “I’ve never had but one wrinkle, and I’m sitting on it.” She was also adamant about 3 other dietary contributing factors to her good health: a daily dose of Port wine, fleur de sel and about 2 pounds of chocolate a week.Take heed Portugal with the exception of chocolate,(well we have carob),but we produce some of the best of all these products.It is no coincidence that Castro Marim home of salmarim ,is twinned with the natural salt producing medieval town in France, Guérande.
For such a simple compound, salt is complicated.(muito complicado)Sodium is a key element in table salt, and it's also essential for life. It helps regulate our blood volume. It shuttles nutrients into our bodies and brains. It allows our muscles to contract and our nerves to pulse with electricity. Yet for decades, we've been told to avoid it.
Both the UK and American Governments have consistently ignored the scientific evidence for decades in order to pursue an agenda designed to make the food industry look bad and the government look good. In-fact, they have ignored the mass of legitimate scientific evidence that contradicted this agenda and ignored the overwhelming number of consumers who responded to the American food and drug association´s public call for comments on their proposal to reduce salt in foods.Yes it is true that most populations consume large amounts of salt.Americans eat an alarming 3.4grams a day, unbeknownto many, by being cloaked by the fine print on processed food.
People eat too much sodium because companies keep dumping it in our food.The main culprits being "light" or low fat products which, if you lower the fat content you lose the flavour, and these manufacturers have to replace the flavour with salt or sugar.Its hardly surprising therefore that so many countries have an obesity problem.You only have to look in peoples shopping trollies to see how much processed food is being purchased.One slice of bread can contain anywhere from 80 to 230 mg of sodium, and a slice of frozen pizza can contain between 370 and 730 mg.Some breakfast cereals contain 150 to 300 mg of sodium before milk is added.It makes you think.
Here's what makes this problem so stubborn: Most of this sodium isn't coming from the salt shaker, which is more or less easy to regulate on an individual basis. The vast majority of the sodium we consume comes from processed foods we buy and meals we eat in restaurants. We may not realize, or have any way to find out, how much is really in there.
It's therefore very difficult for individuals to lower consumption on their own, because there's so much sodium in everything they eat. Its not all doom and gloom, there is a positive solution.So…what’s the situation? When we talk about salt, we have to specify the type of salt and where it is sourced. Basically, in the nutrition battlefield, sea salt has become the white knight while table salt is the enemy.  Sea salt is “organic,” “natural,” “pure” and “healthy”; table salt is “highly refined” and “heavily processed.”  Everything beneficial that salt does for us, such as regulating fluid balance in the body and enhancing the taste of food, sea salt can do better.  Everything bad about the overuse of salt, such as contributing to hypertension, heart disease, and strokes, has been placed at table salt’s doorstep.Jorge Raiado here in Castro Marim produces artesanal salt using a natural centuries old method that provides a purer sodium content and is not subject to any processing. Some health researchers believe it's salt's turn for a reappraisal and point to studies suggesting that more salt doesn't necessarily mean more heart disease.
In his book The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong — And How Eating More Might Save Your Life, American pharmacologist and researcher Dr. James DiNicolantonio rails against salt orthodoxy, not only arguing against salt restriction but even suggesting we eat more of it.DiNicolantonio feels that seasoning our food with natural salts, or any salt to a degree, could be an enticement to eat a healthier diet. If a dash of sodium means we'll finish that side dish of potassium-rich sweet potatoes, then our health is better for it.
When those levels of sodium consumption around the world are compared with the latest World Health Organisation´s life expectancies for the same countries, it is crystal clear that those countries that consume the most salt have the longest life expectancies and those that consume the least salt have the lowest life expectancies.
If you look at some of the healthiest diets in the world, the Mediterranean diet, the Japanese diet, these are not low-salt diets. And many countries with the lowest rates of death due to heart disease eat very salty diets — countries like Japan, France and South Korea.


  1. A lovely read. I miss my little boxes of salt I brought home. I really do need to come back and visit soon xx
    Julia Toms

    1. Thank you so much.It would be lovely to see you again.