Autoimmune disorders are some of the most difficult to diagnose and treat in the medical world. They are typically chronic, as there are very few therapies available for attacking malfunctioning immune cells without also attacking the immune system directly.
In addition, there seems to be some genetic link with these diseases. However, one researcher put it best when he said that autoimmune disorders do not come from the environment or from bad genes—they arise as a result of both.
If you want to protect yourself from autoimmune disorders, find out what your processed table salt may be doing to your body.
Autoimmune Disorders and Their Tie to Processed Salt
Research in this area focuses specifically on Th17 cells. These are a type of immune helper cells that are responsible for fighting infections. However, over the years, a significant amount of research has found that these cells play a prominent role in many autoimmune conditions.
An excess of Th17 cells are linked to an increase in autoimmune disorders. To find out what may cause the excessive production of these cells, researchers exposed mice to different environments. Mice placed in high salt environments grew many more Th17 cells than those placed in other types of environments.
The study did not stop there. Scientists gradually bumped up the mice’s exposure to salt to see if this would have the same effect. It did. Even small increases in salt intake led to an excess of Th17 cells for several generations.
How Much Salt
You may wonder how much salt you should be eating if you want to avoid autoimmune disorders. Unfortunately, there is not much guidance yet in that area. There is still quite a bit of research being done on this subject.
Instead of restricting your intake of table salt, why not consider a salt alternative? These alternatives lack the negative health effects of salt and offer you a great flavor boost for your food.
There are several salt alternatives that you can try out. Look into these popular options to get started:
- Pepper: Pepper is a great alternative for most foods. It offers a kick of flavor and can completely hide the fact that there is no added salt in your dish.
- Sea salt: Sea salt has become extremely popular in recent years, with many companies now offering different varieties of sea salt. Look for an unrefined and unprocessed sea salt. These types have dozens of minerals and nutrients that you would never get from regular table salt.
- Lemon: In certain savory dishes, lemon can be used to boost flavor and eliminate the need for salt. Lemon juice is a good option, but you can also use grated lemon peel. Consider mixing lemon and pepper for chicken, beef, and seafood dishes.
- Onion: The rich natural taste of onions can often offset the need for salt. Dried onion flakes work as more of a seasoning than as a vegetable.
- Rosemary: Strong tasting herbs can be a great flavor substitute in many different foods. Dried rosemary is a particularly popular choice.
This Site Was Inspired By An Interest in Protecting the Environment:
We had the privilege and joy of learning from Dr. Charlie Stine who instilled a love for the natural world through incredible field trips with the Johns Hopkins Odyssey Certificate program in Environmental Studies. At the time, the program was endorsed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Sadly, after Dr. Stine retired, the program was phased out. We hope that we honor his legacy by shining a bright light on environmental issues and sharing good news about the success of various conservation programs when possible.
Subscribe to our email newsletter to get the latest posts delivered right to your email.