Articles on salt

Why You Should Break Up With Salt

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The real culpritStudies have shown that your total daily intake of salt should not be more than 6g. To reduce your salt intake you can give up or minimize consuming things like soda, french fries, and even try to substitute salt with balsamic vinegar. But what you should really be worried about is the hidden salt in your daily foods. Everything in its limitEven though sodium is an essential nutrient that helps your nerves and muscles to work properly, an excess of it in your system causes your body to retain water. This in turn puts pressure on your heart and blood vessels leading to high blood pressure and several other health problems. Tons and tins of saltWhen you go grocery shopping, your first instinct is to pick up that can of fish, or maybe that tin of tomatoes. What you don't realize is, 20% of that tin is actually salt. And not the good kind of salt, mind you. It's the kind of salt that remains hidden, and usually rears its ugly head when it's already too late. Befriending the labelDon't rely on your instinct when picking up products off the shelf at the store. Pay attention to those little nutrition label on the back, that you've been ignoring all this while. You should keep an eye out for hidden salt and pick up low sodium options instead. You'll be surprised by how many unlikely products contain a high amount of salt! So the next time you're at the go- whether it's shopping, or at a party with a spread of salty foods, you must think twice. Sometimes, that small pinch of salt might just be a pinch too much for your body's health! I'd say it's a pretty good time to break up with Salt.

Make 'Salt' Your Friend, and Say Goodbye to Your Breathing Worries!

Mrs. Anju Chandna, Yoga and Naturopathy
The last two decades have seen a phenomenal rise in all things natural. 'Back to nature' is the new age mantra that has caught people's imagination. Natural fabrics instead of nylon, natural cosmetics instead of ones laden with chemicals, natural organic foods instead of pesticide-grown crops and natural remedies for a host of ailments instead of conventional methods of treatment. Reason can easily be attributed to the phenomenal rise in polluted air, polluted water systems and polluted land. People are yearning to go back to nature and extract from it whatever bounties it has to offer. And nature never ever disappoints us.The humble mineral, Salt, is one such miraculous gift of nature to us. The good news is that there is no dearth of salt on this earth. The sea has it in abundance and it is also available in plenty in natural salt mines and caves. World wide, this mineral is used for therapeutic purposes in treating ailments by means of a unique natural treatment called Salt therapy. Salt therapy uses salt to great advantage in the form of salt rooms. Salt rooms are artificial salt caves that are made of tons of sea salt to create a micro-climate very similar to that of a natural salt cave. Let me enumerate the 5 most promising benefits of salt therapy to you:Salt is bactericidalSitting inside a salt room exposes your lungs to the cleanest air possible since the presence of so much salt all around kills all germs and bacteria. The air that you get to breathe inside is light, easy to breathe and pure. Getting to breathe such pure air within a city is nothing short of a luxury in today's age and time!Salt is anti-inflammatoryDuring a one hour session in the salt room, salt particles enter deep into your lungs, it has the capacity to relieve symptoms of any inflammation in the airways that is caused due to the presence of mucous in the body.Salt makes the salt room hypo-allergenicThe presence of tons of salt in the salt room makes the environment absolutely clean and no allergens can find their way into it. People with respiratory disorders need such a clean atmosphere so that a one hour salt room therapy helps to cleanse their system and not irritate it. That is the reason why people with very chronic allergic cough can also endure the salt spray and benefit from it.Salt is mucolyticMucolytic implies ‘melting mucous’. Root cause of all allergies is that our body fights allergies by producing more mucous, mucous starts filling up in the airways and lungs, thereby clogging them and making them narrow. Air in the salt room is laden with minute salt particles that enter the airways, upon reaching the airways they start reacting with the mucous lining the walls of the airways. Mucous starts to melt, airways become cleansed and wide.Salt is negatively ionized. Negative ions are considered to be ‘cleansers of the air’ and salt has the property of negative ionization. Negative ionization of the air relieves stress, makes it clean and fit for breathing.A lot can be said about the mucolytic properties of salt, it’s attributes of negative ionization and its bactericidal effects. So, make this humble salt your best friend in case you’re suffering from respiratory problems. Believe me it’ll never let you down. The Author is the founder of SRT India - The Salt Room Therapy Chain

Salt Room Therapy

Dr. Loknath Kumar, General Physician
Salt Room Therapy also called Halo therapy (from the Greek word Halos, meaning Salt) is a drug free and completely natural therapy with no side effects.Description of salt Room:The salt room is entirely covered with imported predefined mixture of untreated salts and specific minerals, causing a strong negative ionization of the room air, which on its part eases respiration.Mechanism of Salt Room:Halo generator is a machine in the salt room, which we feed with 99.9% of imported pure sodium chloride derived from predefined mixture of untreated salt and specific minerals which are inhalable. Pharma grade particles of 2 to 4 microns are present in the treatment room in the form of aerosols at a specific micro climate for the micro particles to be clinically effective.Salt emits negative ions. Injured and diseased cells are electron deficient, so submitting the body to an electron rich environment benefits and heals cells by absorption. When patient breathes or is exposed to the micro particles it has 3 major clinical actions: bacteriostatic, bactericidal and T-Lymphocyte action. When salt is inhaled, it travel through the sinuses and respiratory tract absorbing moisture, cleansing mucus and killing bacteria.Role of salt room in Athletes:Halo therapy can enhance sports performance by improving lung function and increasing lung capacity and stamina.Indications of Salt room therapy:Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis, Cystic Fibrosis, Allergies, Sinusitis, COPD, ILD, IPF, Sarcoidosis, Smokers Cough, Skin Allergies like Atopic Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis, Reduce Anxiety, Relaxation and Rejuvenation, SnoringSalt room therapy should  be avoided in cases such as:Infections accompanied by fever.Cancer patient.Elevated Blood Pressure.Active Tuberculosis.Total Kidney Failure.Total Liver Failure.Salt room therapy offers a very viable option for treating the Allergy conditions for all age group of patients by improving the body immune system and the overall health / well being.Dr.Vanikala VenugopalRespiCare Whitefield

5 Priceless Benefits of Salt Therapy for All Your Respiratory Troubles!

Mrs. Anju Chandna, Yoga and Naturopathy
Salt therapy is fast catching everyone’s attention. A therapy that was born within the confines of natural salt caves in the Eastern European countries like Poland and Romania around 150 years ago is now on its way to become one of the most revolutionary treatments of all time for all respiratory allergies like Asthma, Bronchitis,Sinusitis, Allergic cough, Dry cough, COPD and many others. A lot can be attributed to the fact that the treatment is natural.So let me give you a 5 point count as to what makes this therapy different from the conventional methods of treatment that we’ve known all these years. Salt therapy is a 100% natural treatment. The main ingredient that does all the trick is salt. The salt room has around 3-4 tons of salt on the walls, the ceiling, the floor and the aerosol that you inhale while sitting inside this artificial salt cave is also pharma-grade salt. Old age wisdom says that consuming too much salt is not good for our body but what needs to be understood is that this salt does not enter your digestive tract. So any side effect could arise of consuming salt directly is absent here. This salt aerosol enters only the respiratory tract through the nasal passage and goes directly into your lungs. It cleanses the mucous along its way and reaches the smallest bronchioles of the lungs. All naturally with no medicines.Salt therapy is absolutely safe for infants, the elderly and pregnant women. Since there is no medicine involved in the treatment, everyone from a 6 month old baby to an 80 year old adult can take the therapy without bothering about any negative fallout. Even pregnant women who are otherwise not advised medication can take this therapy and get relief from any allergy arising during their pregnancy. Salt therapy has no side effects. There is nothing entering your digestive tract that can possibly cause any side effect. Salt enters the lungs, reacts with the mucous present there and comes out of the body along with that mucous.  Presence of tons of salt in the salt room makes the environment absolutely clean and no allergens can find their way into it. People with respiratory disorders need such a clean atmosphere so that a one hour salt room session helps to cleanse their system and not irritate it. That is the reason why people with very chronic allergic cough can also endure the salt spray and benefit from it.Salt therapy offers long term relief. The basic function of salt therapy is to cleanse your lungs. So once your treatment is complete and your lungs get cleansed, the chances that they will remain that way are very high. But here we cannot ignore the fact that we are living in one of the most polluted regions of the world and you are constant being exposed to allergens. One might need maintenance sessions once every 3 months to keep your lungs clean and healthy.  Salt therapy de-stresses and calms the mind. Salt is inherently negatively ionized. Nature has made it this way.Negative ions are considered to be ‘cleansers of the air’ and salt has the property of negative ionization. Negative ionization of the air relieves stress, so spending an hour inside the salt room not just cleanses your lungs but also relieves your mind of stress. De-stressing the mind is considered to be an important step towards treating any kind of respiratory problem.So what are you waiting for? Come to the salt room and soak in the benefits of this miracle mineral!

Science Behind Saltwater Rinses

Dr. Himanshu Arora, Dentist
Most of Doctors love to recommend saltwater rinse and now a days companies too have started cashing in on the positive effects of salt.So how does actually saltwater works?  And how often can we use it? A salt water mouth rinse is useful for a number of different reasons.It's a great option for anyone who has a sore throat, gum sores or recently underwent dental procedures. It doesn't take the place of modern dental hygiene, but is used as a supportive measure for adults and children alikeThe following oral conditions can benefit from salt water mouth rinses:·        Bad breath (halitosis)-salt water kills the bacteria that cause bad breath and infection.·    Gum disease (gingivitis) is characterized by inflamed and bleeding gums caused by overgrowth of a bacteria found naturally in the mouth. Rinsing the mouth with the saline solution will reduce the incidence of gingivitis.·   Toothache due to cavities that are caused by bacteria can be minimized.·    Healing of oral tissue after tooth extraction or infection-salt treatment is successful at reducing inflammation because it is an astringent and causes swollen tissue to shrink, promoting rapid healing. It also prevents infection of any exposed tissue.·        Relieves a sore throat by killing the bacteria and soothing the inflamed throat tissuesHistorically, salt water rinses have been used for hundreds of years, from ancient China to the Romans. Ancient Indian Ayurvedic documents have been found to contain references to oral hygiene with salt water. Even today, dentists often recommend salt water mouth rinses to ease pain and swelling after a tooth extraction. A study conducted in 2010 showed that salt water is an effective way to kill oral bacteria. The saturated saline solution kills the bacteria by changing the oral environment into one not conducive to bacterial growthHow Salt Inhibits Dental BacteriaSo, how does a salt water mouth rinse work to reduce dental bacteria? According to Eric Shapira, D.D.S., it temporarily increases the pH balance of your mouth, creating an alkaline environment in which bacteria struggle to survive. Because they – along with most other natural species – generally prefer an acidic environment, using the rinse often enough can make it difficult for bacteria to breed.Healing Properties of Salt WaterThe use of salt also promotes healing, so it's ideal to use it 24 hours after minor dental surgery to help your mouth recover. It's an isotonic solution, which means it contains the same salts and minerals our bodies do in equal concentrations. For this reason, it doesn't irritate the mucous membranes as a medicinal mouthwash might, which is why many dentists recommend it as a gentle healing aid after a procedure.Benefits of Salt Water as Mouth RinseCheaper than commercial mouthwashes· More environmental-friendly than the chemicals contained in commercial mouthwashes·      Alcohol-free, so will not cause the burning sensation that some mouthwashes cause in sensitive people·        Will cause no allergies·    Acts an antibacterial because it kills bacteria by increasing the pH of the mouth to an environment not suitable for bacterial growthMaking a Salt Water Mouth Rinse       It's actually easy to make a personal salt water-based mouth rinse. Add ½ a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Rinse your mouth every two to three hours for the first few days after surgery, then use it three to four times a day thereafter.  

Life Style/diet/role of Salt in Hypertension??

Dr. Supritha K M, General Physician
SALT & HYPERTENSIONNow, in continuation to my previous article about hypertension,the next common question is about DIET/LIFE STYLE IN HYPERTENSION.As we all know the first thing that is advised for a patient,when diagnosed as HTN/Pre-HTN is "LOW SALT DIET","KEEP AWAY FROM STRESS"But how do you measure& cut down on the salt?What is the daily requirement of salt?What has salt got to do with HTN control?It is mainly the amount of Na++(sodium) in the salt which matters, which has a role with control of HTN.WHAT DOES Na++ DO?Na++ is one of the main electrolyte in ion transport that happens in the cells of the body, which leads to Increased contractile capacity of blood vessel wallalso to some extent stimulate growth of smooth muscle cell, thereby increasing vessel wall thickness, in turn the resistance offered by the vessel.Daily recommended dose of salt is 5gms/day.That is almost equal to LEVEL TEASPOON of salt.Amount of salt in our diet!! How do we measure the salt we consume??It is mainly the unseen/HIDDEN salt that is present in our daily diet habits!What is this unseen/HIDDEN salt-salt present in our snacks,pickles,chutneys,sauces(ex:soya sauces)ketchups,chips,salted biscuits,cheese,salted butter.Also most of the processed/packaged food also  have hidden extra amount of salt,because salt is added as a preservative.but most food lables only report sodium as grams per 100grams of food.To convert to  salt multiply by 2.5 i.e. 1gm of sodium per 100 gms of food is almost equivalent to the saltiness of seawater!How to control on salt intake?First & foremost thing is to avoid packaged & processed food.Only choose food items with no more than 0.3gms of sodium per 100gms of food Do not add salt to cooking,instead add only at the table,so that you'll have better control of your salt intake.Alternative is ,suppose in a family of 4 members the daily recommended salt intake is 3.5 level TSP per day,so that 0.5 gms will be given as a margin for hidden salt intake.Instead of salt one can add pepper,garlic,herbs(mint/oregano/parsley/coriander),Lemon as flavoring agents.Other dietary/lifestyle changes:Salt intake is one of the main dietary changes advised in hypertension.DIET:Other dietary changes include-Diet rich in Whole grains, fruits & vegetables (5 servings per day),Low fat dairy products & decrease on saturated fat & cholesterolThis can lower BP by upto 14mm HgFor more information one ca visit these websites-http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20046974,http://foodpyramidindia.org/Fruits & vegetables-1 serving =1cup of cut fruits/vegetables (or) 80-100 gms, of locally available fruits & vegetables per day i.e. 450-500 gms each day.But in India per capita consumption actual national average is 140GMS/DAY!!!ALCOHOL:Moderation in alcohol consumption-Men <14 units per weekWomen <7 units per week(ASH guidelines) One alcohol unit is measured as 10ml or 8gm of pure alcohol.This equals one 25ml single measure of whisky(ABV* 40%), or a third of a pint of beer(ABV* 5-6%) or half a standard glass of red wine i.e 175ml (ABV*12%)*ABV=Alcohol By VolumePHYSICAL ACTIVITY & STRESS MANAGEMENT:Atleast 30-60 min of moderate physical activity,min of 5days a week can lower blood pressure by 4-9mm HgMake sure you take stairs in you work place rather than lift,walk to the market,walk with your children to their school or activity center/tutions.Get involved in group activities:Dance /cook with friends & family, so that every one will have quality time together as well as a stress buster.In practical,all the above said things looks simple & easy,BUT the very important aspect is ADOPTION & MAINTENANCE of life style modifications,where most of us fail!Try & adhere to the changes one at a time.I would call it as INVESTING ON HEALTH!!We see people chasing behind possessions & positions,often forget on their health-at the end of it all you'll just be spending all your possessions on your illness!Now its your choice to draw a line b/w health & wealth!

4 Great Tips to Tackle Tooth Pain at Home

Dr. Sudhakar, Dentist
Home Remedies to Prevent Tooth Pain1. Clove Oil  -  Clove is considered one of the best remedies to get relief from wisdom tooth pain. Take some clove oil and apply it on the affected area. Repeat the same process 2 to 3 times a day. You may dilute clove oil with some amount of olive oil, if you find it too strong.    Alternatively, place 2 or 3 cloves directly in your mouth close to the painful area.2.  Gargle with Salt Water - Take a cup of warm water and add one teaspoon of salt in it. Gargle with this prepared solution a couple of times during the day. Salt water is very useful in curing inflamed gums.     Or else, mix pepper and salt in equal amount; add some drops of water to form a fine paste. Now, apply it to the aching tooth. Leave the mixture for a few minutes. Repeat the same process 2 to 3 times a day until your pain is completely gone.3.  GarlicDue to its antibiotic and antioxidant properties, garlic is widely used to relieve tooth pain. Crush a few garlic cloves and hold it next to your painful tooth. Or else, chew 1 or 2 garlic cloves to get rid of  teeth pain.    Instead, prepare a paste by mixing 2 crushed garlic cloves with black salt. Apply, and let it stand for some time and then spew out.4.  AlmondsAlmonds has unique alkalinity to counter the acidic nature of the decay effect which is very useful in preventing Decay in child.Crushed almonds with clove and salt in warm water gives you a immediate relief from Tooth ache

Reading Nutrition Labels Correctly

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Nutrition labels are supposed to tell us how healthy or unhealthy a food really is. Some of us read them, many don't. But if you read them, are you reading them correctly? Reading nutrition label can help make wise food choices but knowing how to read the nutrition fact label can be complicated without the right guide. So, let us show step by step how to correctly read the nutrition label:Step 1- Start with serving sizeAt the top of the label are the serving size and the number of servings per container.  Serving sizes is the amount of food that is typically eating in one serving indicated by cup or number. Serving sizes differ on each food label and may not equal the serving size you normally eat. If you double a serving size, you must also double all the other values on the nutrition label.Step 2- Tally up "Calories" and "Calories from Fat"The calories in a serving and calories derived from fat are displayed directly under the portion sizes. The number of calories you actually take in is determined by the number of servings you eat. For example one serving (10g) of packaged bhelpuri provides 56 calories with 36 calories from fat. And if you eat 5 serving (50 g) of it, then you are actually eating 280 calories with 180 calories from fat.Step 3- Learn about % Daily ValueReferred to DV, the Percent Daily Value tells how much of a certain nutrient one serving of food contains, to how much of that nutrient you should consume daily (based on 2,000 calorie diet).Step 4- Finding nutrients which need to be limited in diet:a) Adding up “Total Fat”: Displayed next is total fat which includes fats that are good, such as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and fats that are not so good, such as saturated and trans fats ("hydrogenated" and "partially hydrogenated" fats ).b) Finding about "Cholesterol": Next is how much cholesterol is provided by one serving of food (limit to 200 mg/day).c) Looking at "Sodium" content. Sodium, a hidden ingredient in many foods, especially processed food, such as canned soups and tomato sauces.Step 5- Identifying nutrients needed in moderate amountsa)    "Total Carbohydrates": This number represents total of all different types of carbohydrates from eating one serving of food.b)    "Protein" amount. This number tells you how much protein you obtain from consuming one serving of food.Step 6-Be vigilant about amount of "Sugar"This is the amount of sugar you get by consuming one serving of food. Some carbohydrates become sugar when digested in body, so we may be actually consuming more sugar than what is on label.Step 7- Identifying nutrients needed in maximum amountsa)"Total fiber”: This number represents grams of dietary fiber in one serving of food. A food is considered high in fiber if it contains 5 grams of fiber or more per serving. Men age 50 and younger should get at least 38 grams of fiber per day, while women age 50 and younger should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day.b) Vitamins and Minerals: The nutrition label lists vitamin A, C, calcium and iron. If not present in the food then label mention a footnote ‘Not a significant source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium & Iron’.Step 8- Don't forget to look at ‘Footnote’A chart based on a 2,000-calorie and 2,500-calorie diet. But the question is how many calories do you need? If your body needs 1600 calories or 2800 calories, then clearly you should keep that in mind.Healthy eating often starts with knowing yourself & about what you are putting in mouth. A key step is to know how to read "Nutrition Facts" on a food label and not relying on phrases like “healthy” or “low-fat”. This can help you make quick, informed choices that contribute to healthy eating through more informed label reading.