No Salt or dangerous low salt levels will eventually make you sick.
The medical profession has a name for it (of course) Hyponatremia, also spelled hyponatraemia. Aka Salt Cramps (and worse if you ignore it).
Usually a factor in dry, hot conditions, it might seem strange talking about them in winter BUT it’s still a factor to consider.
Signs and symptoms of not enough salt.
Nausea and vomiting, headache, short-term memory loss, confusion, lethargy, fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, muscle weakness, spasms or cramps, seizures, and decreased consciousness or coma.
Adults ideally should have no more than 6g per day, and 2g per day for children.
Higher than that can increase blood pressure, the danger of strokes, and heart failure.
Grams Sodium Equivalent Teaspoons
4 1600 ¾ of a teaspoon salt
5 2000 One teaspoon salt
6 2400 1¼ teaspoons salt
The most common cause of too low salt is be dehydrated and too sweaty.
A ‘standard’ DIY way of fixing this is with an oral rehydration drink/salts. (ORS)
Six (6) level teaspoons of Sugar.
Half (1/2) level teaspoon of Salt.
One Litre of clean drinking or boiled water and then cooled –
5 cupfuls (each cup about 200 ml.)
Drink SLOWLY over a period of time! If you chug it in one, you will be sick as too much salt too quickly can cause vomiting which defeats the use of the ORS.
Why? Because although you need salt, too much too quick acts as an emetic.
IF vomiting, fever, stomach pain or bloating, or diarrhoea occurs that lasts longer than 24 hours, you need medical help.
Eating a banana (rich in potassium and magnesium) and drinking milk (Calcium) will help a lot BUT currently in the UK they literally don’t grow on trees and milk may be ‘logistically’ hard to source.
Now no salt and low magnesium levels can give some of the same symptoms.
Weakness, Muscle cramps, Tremors, Nausea, Fatigue PLUS Anxiety, High blood pressure, Dizziness, , Difficulty swallowing, Poor memory, and Confusion.
All in one fix.
You can buy Electrolyte powders that have the body essentials in a sachet i.e. Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium (Plus trace elements).
Only the same rules apply. Drink SLOWLY.
Those sachets and salt itself will become a barter item!
Natural sources of salt include the obvious one, sea water.
Foods that naturally have salt include:-
Seafood and seaweed (Surprisingly)
Most root vegetables carrots, beets,
And within most animals and poultry / birds.
Seeing as though I’m talking about minerals, I will include vitamins.
Skin and bone vitamins.
Vitamin A and Niacin (also called vitamin B3).
Prevents eye problems, promotes a healthy immune system, and keeps skin healthy.
Milk, eggs, liver, darkly colored orange or green vegetables (such as carrots, pumpkin, and kale), and orange fruits such as apricots, and peaches.
For niacin add red meat, poultry, and oily fish.
Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid)
Makes collagen, a tissue that helps to hold cells together.
It’s essential for healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels.
It helps the body absorb iron, aids in wound healing, and contributes to brain function.
Citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.
Pine needle tea is a rich source of vitamin C as is elderberries.
Sunshine makes this and the winter blues is known to be caused by not enough exposure to the sun.
Fish liver oils are among the best sources.
Small amounts are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
Vitamin E and B12
Antioxidants and helps protect cells from damage and keeps blood healthy.
Vegetable oils, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. wheat germ, and whole grains are also good sources for vitamin E
Fish, red meat, poultry, milk, cheese, and eggs for B12.
Keep the brain well and helps the blood.
Potatoes, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and spinach.
Folate (also known as vitamin B9, folic acid, or folacin)
Liver, dried beans and other legumes, green leafy vegetables,
Thiamin (also called vitamin B1)
Heart muscles, and nerve food.
Cereals, and pasta; lean meats; dried beans, and peas; and whole grains
Riboflavin (also called vitamin B2)
Turns carbs into energy, blood food.
meat, eggs, legumes (like peas and lentils), nuts, dairy, and green leafy vegetables.
Sounds wonderful doesn’t it?
Except in an austere scenario supermarkets may not exist and diet may be ‘restricted’.
So in a nutshell (very appropriately) this is what you should be foraging for to maintain your nutritional levels:-
Salt, and sugars (includes confectionery.)
Red meat, poultry, and fish.
Eggs, milk, cheese if you can find it.
Legumes (like dried peas and lentils),
Green leafy and root vegetables.
Cereals including wheat, barley, and rice,
Pastas because they last well
Citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and forest fruits.
Which may need you to get ‘creative’ in how you forage.
Living in a fertile country, most everything is easily available.