Thursday, March 2, 2017

Essential Health Benefits of Sea Salt

Top 6 Essential Health Benefits of Sea Salt

Salt has been used as a natural flavoring for thousands of years, and it’s so vital to our existence that we’ve even been created with a portion of our tongues designated to taste saltiness. I did a Daniel fast last year and eliminated salt from my diet completely for 10 days, and everything I ate tasted completely bland. During that time, it made me realize how essential salt is to our lives and caused me to spend some extra hours researching all of the many uses and benefits of sea salt.

As I’m sure you’re aware, salt is seen as a very unhealthy substance by many organizations, such as the American Heart Association, and I understand why. I’m not saying you should start shoveling salt into your mouth, but I want to clarify that there is a major difference between processed table salt and real sea salt. A true, unrefined sea salt actually supports the human body in essential ways and can truly be an awesome health promoter.

6 Health Benefits of Sea Salt

If we’re talking about real salt like Celtic Sea Salt® or pink Himalayan salt, it has many benefits and should be used daily. Why? Because of the life-giving nutrition sea salt contains, including:

1. Rich in Trace Minerals

High-quality sea salts typically contain 60 trace minerals. In the case of Himalayan sea salt, the number is said to be 84. Either way, sea salts are a great source of minerals.

It’s become harder and harder to obtain trace minerals from the foods we eat due to the lack of nutrient-rich soil. However, trace minerals are still abundant in our planet’s seas and oceans, from which we get a variety of sea salts. (1)

2. Helps Avoid Dehydration and Balance Fluids

Here’s how sodium works within the body: Essentially, water follows salt, which means if you increase sodium too much, water retention also occurs. At the same time, the opposite is also true: A loss in sodium results in a loss in water, potentially causing dehydration and extreme thirst.

By consuming sea salt daily, you also ensure that you maintain sufficient sodium levels, and this helps balance your sodium-potassium ratios. Sodium and potassium are two electrolytes that work together to ensure that there is proper fluid balance in your body’s cells as well as your blood plasma and extracellular fluid. (2)

3.  Excellent Electrolyte Source

The minimal processing of unrefined sea salt enables it to retain much of its natural mineral content. Sea can contains many of the major electrolytes, like sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium, that are absolutely essential to good health. (3)

Electrolytes have so many important functions — from regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract so you can move. Sea salt in moderation can help in avoiding an electrolyte imbalance, which can cause all kinds of serious negative symptoms, including some that are potentially deadly.

Sea salt vs. Himalayan salt - Dr. Axe

4. Proper Brain, Muscle and Nervous System Function

As a provider of sodium, sea salt is not just good for — it’s essential for proper brain, muscle and nervous system function. As I already said, sodium is a regulator of water in your body. It’s also required for the transmission of electrical signals in the body. Why is this so important? Without the proper transmission of electrical signals in the body, so many things can get thrown off.

Without this communication system working as it should, the brain, muscles and nervous systems are especially inclined to suffer. Both too much and too little sodium cause cellular malfunction. So as much as you hear about making sure you don’t get too much salt in your diet, it’s also absolutely just as important to make sure we get enough. (4)

5. Digestive Health Aid

Not getting enough salt in your diet can actually negatively impact your digestive health. If you don’t get enough salt in your diet, it can lead to your body not producing enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach. If you have low stomach acid, it can seriously throw off your digestive system. Consuming the right amount of sea salt helps your body produce proper amounts of HCL since sea salt provides chloride, which is the building block of stomach acid.

6. Nutrient Enhancer

Having enough stomach acid also helps our bodies to absorb vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, folate and B12. So consuming a high-quality sea salt regularly can help your body absorb more nutrients from the foods that you eat. This is great news since it’s not only what you eat, but how your body processes what you eat, that gives your body the nutrients it needs on a daily basis.

What Is Sea Salt?

All salts (even table salt) originate from a sea or salty body of water, but not all salts on the market today actually come from the oceans in existence today. What does that mean? Salts that are not sea salt are derived from underground salt deposits left behind by seawater at some point.

Sea salt is a type of salt produced from the evaporation of current seawater. The evaporation is accomplished by either open-air solar evaporation or by a quicker vacuum evaporation process. Some of the pricier sea salts available today often come from the slower sun-fueled evaporation method. When you eat a sea salt that has experienced very little processing, you have a salt that contains health-promoting trace minerals. (5) It also has natural flavors and colors that make it a lot tastier and more interesting to use for cooking as well as homemade beauty products.

Sea salt can be either unrefined or refined. I encourage you to look for unrefined sea salt, which has more of its inherent health properties. Refined sea salt is washed to strip it of its trace minerals. You also don’t want a sea salt that lists “sodium chloride” as its main ingredient because this means it’s just as refined as table salt.

Also beware of additives when purchasing sea salt. Unfortunately, some commercial producers of sea salt include health-hazardous additives in their final product, and certain food additives trigger leaky gut.

Types of Sea Salt

Two of my favorite varieties of sea salt are Himalayan sea salt and Celtic Sea Salt®. There are many other varieties since there are so many salty bodies of water that sea salt can be derived from.

Himalayan Sea Salt

Many believe Himalayan sea salt is the purest salt available on the planet. With a history dating back to Earth’s creation, it’s believed to be composed of dried remnants of the original, primal sea.

Known as “pink gold,” Himalayan crystal salt is actually a beautiful translucent pink and contains all of the 84 elements found in your body. Because of the amazing nutrient load, doctors of functional medicine report that regularly eating Himalayan salt can help:

Regulate the water content throughout your body
Promote healthy pH balance in your cells (particularly your brain cells)
Promote blood sugar health and can help reduce the signs of aging
Assist in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body
Absorb food particles through your intestinal tract
Support respiratory health
Promote sinus health
Prevent muscle cramps
Promote bone strength
Regulate your sleep
Support your libido
Promote vascular health
Regulate your blood pressure with sufficient water and potassium intake
Celtic Sea Salt®

Another ancient commodity, Celtic Sea Salt® is comparable to Himalayan crystal salt in its composition and health benefits. Being of a grayish hue, it is naturally harvested in Brittany, France, near the Celtic Sea using a 2,000-year-old Celtic method that is crucial to preserving its life-giving nutrition profile.

It’s been reported that Celtic Sea Salt® is powerfully beneficial for your health and can help:

Alkalize the body
Balance blood sugars
Eliminate mucus buildup
Build immunity
Improve brain function
Increase energy
Provide electrolyte balance
Promote restful sleep
Prevent muscle cramps
Regulate heartbeat and blood pressure
Interestingly, this salt retains its moisture and is moist to touch, in spite of how you store it. Think of this as a gentle reminder of its ocean source and continual life-giving properties.

Other sea salt options include:

Fleur de Sel or  Flor de Sal: French or Portuguese for “flower of salt,” this sea salt gets its name from the patterns of crystals that resemble flowers. This is a salt that forms as a thin, fragile crust on seawater’s surface  as it evaporates. Traditionally, it was used as a salve and laxative, but today it’s most commonly used for cooking as a finishing salt.
Flake Sea Salt (or Flaky Sea Salt): This variety of sea salt can be formed naturally or produced by a variety of methods. Most flake sea salts have thin, flattened crystals that provide more surface area with less mass resulting in a quick-dissolving and crunchy salt. It’s said that flake sea salt has a saltier taste but lower trace mineral content than other sea salts. (6)
Hawaiian Sea Salt: Hawaiian or Alaea sea salt is a traditional Hawaiian salt. Alae is a natural red volcanic clay that is added to enrich the salt with iron oxide, and it also gives this sea salt its distinctive red color. Real Hawaiian salt is pricey and hard to find outside of Hawaii. (7)
Italian Sea Salt: This sea salt is derived from the Mediterranean Sea along the coast of Sicily.

Types of sea salt - Dr. Axe

Sea Salt vs. Table Salt

Table salt is mainly mined from underground salt deposits. It’s heavily processed to eliminate healthy minerals. Table “salt” is manufactured by taking natural salt (such as crude oil flake leftovers) and heating it to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. During this extreme process, the chemical composition is completely altered, and all of the nutritional benefits are destroyed.

In the end, generic table “salt” ends up being about 97.5 percent sodium chloride and a 2.5 percent balance containing an array of ingredients, including: (8)

Anti-caking chemicals
Iodine to prevent goiters
MSG and/or white processed sugar to help stabilize the iodine
And aluminum derivatives, such as sodium silico-aluminate
There are actually 18 food additives that are allowed to be put into table salt. Trust me when I tell you that no one really knows what’s in this stuff, and calling it “salt” is a complete misrepresentation.

Ultimately, this processed “fake” salt puts people at risk of developing cardiovascular events and chronic disease because of elevated blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. Unlike real salt, processed “salt” causes your body to retain fluids. Subsequently, it should be no surprise that people who use these products develop diabetes, gout and obesity more than people who don’t.

Additionally, most table “salt” is iodized and puts people at risk for over-iodization, which has been shown to abnormally enlarge the thyroid gland and cause thyroid problems, such as thyroid-related autoimmune disorders. Excess iodine in the diet can also lead to nausea, headaches and unhealthy hormone levels.

So when the American Heart Association says that salt is bad for you, I strongly believe that this is correct when referring to table “salt,” but not a high-quality unrefined sea salt.

History of Sea Salt

Salt has always been essential to human life since humans need dietary salt in order to survive. The production of sea salt has been dated all the way back to prehistoric times. Since all salt either comes from dead, dried-up seas or living seas, the history of salt is equivalent to the history of sea salt.

In the sub-Sahara in the 6th century, Moorish merchants regularly traded prized salt in equal amounts (by weight) for gold. Later in 1295, the explorer Marco Polo returned from his travels telling stories of the highly impressive value of salt coins bearing the seal of the Great Khan of the Mongol empire. There were salt trade routes all over the world with the most popular one leading from Morocco south across the Sahara to Timbuktu.

The history of human civilization is said to be directly linked to salt. How so? Animals would create paths to salt licks, men would follow turning trails into roads and settlements would grow beside these roads. As civilizations grew around the world, salt continued to be one of the main items used for trade. (9)

Solnitsata was Europe’s earliest known town, and it was constructed around a salt production facility. According to archaeologists, Solnitsata accumulated wealth by supplying salt throughout the Balkan Peninsula. (10)

Seal Salt Precautions

Even though sea salt has health benefits, you don’t want to overdo it. Use sea salt in moderation.

If your diet is too high in sodium, then more water is excreted by the kidneys, and this can cause complications with balancing other essential electrolytes. Symptoms of having too much sea salt include bloating, lethargy, dehydration, weakness, irritability and muscle twitching.

Hypernatremia occurs when there’s an imbalance of sodium and water in your body. This condition is more common among infants who have a low intake of breastmilk or an intake of formula that was not mixed properly, older adults, people with diabetes or kidney problems, severe burn patients, people who take diuretics, and those who eat heavily processed diets. Symptoms can include intense thirst, headache, confusion, irritability, restlessness and drowsiness. Seek medical attention immediately if you think you may be experiencing hypernatremia. (11)

Final Thoughts on Sea Salt
Always aim to skip the salt found in processed and packaged foods. That’s the kind of salt that causes problems. Sea salt, on the other hand, in moderate amounts daily is truly an awesome health booster in multiple ways.

Sea salt is also preferred over table salt by many people (especially in the culinary world) because it’s more flavorful. When you opt for a high-quality sea salt, you can actually use the salt shaker guilt-free. You can enjoy how tasty sea salt makes your food while it positively impacts your health — now that’s a win-win situation.

Read Next: Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits that Make It Superior to Table Salt

To Salt or Not to Salt?

Doctors and scientists have long been telling us to reduce our salt intake, so it may be hard to swallow when I tell you research shows that a low-salt diet doesn’t reduce high blood pressure. But the type of salt you are consuming does make a world of difference for your health.

Salt Health Benefits

Nutritionist Sally Fallon reminds us that all traditional cultures have used salt in some form. But they didn’t, of course, use the refined table salt we find in our salt shakers. They used salt from the sea.

Refined Table Salt vs. Sea Salt

Refined salt is produced from sea salt originally. It starts as a ‘real food’ then quickly becomes a ‘fake food.’ Manufacturers harvest this salt with methods that strip it of all its naturally-occurring minerals. They then use a number of additives (including aluminum) to dry it and heat it to temperatures of about 1,200 degrees, which alters its chemical structure. The stripped iodine is replaced with potassium iodide in potentially toxic amounts. The salt is then stabilized with dextrose, which turns it purple. Finally it is bleached white.

Sun-dried sea salt, on the other hand, is laced with marine life (organic forms of iodine) and many essential minerals. This type of salt remains in the body at work for several weeks. Refined salt passes through the body quickly and may be why researcher Henry Bieler found signs of sodium starvation in people who ate lots of refined salt.

Celtic sea salt, that which is farmed with ancient methods from the salt marshes of Brittany, is one of the best varieties that are readily available in the US. It is light grey in color and carries 80 trace minerals and 14% of it is composed of macro-minerals. Red sea salt from Hawaii is superior to Celtic sea salt but is much harder to obtain.

What Sea Salt Provides

Aside from seasoning our food and adding taste, sea salt provides us with sodium, chloride, iodine, and a host of other essential minerals.


Every bodily fluid contains sodium. Why? It is needed for many biochemical processes including (but not limited to): adrenal gland function, cell wall stability, muscle contractions, nerve stimulation, pH and water balance regulation.


Chloride works in concert with sodium and potassium to regulate pH in the blood and the passage of fluids across cell membranes. Chloride is the basis of hydrochloric acid which is needed to digest protein. Chloride also activates enzymes that digest carbohydrates and is necessary for the proper growth and functioning of the brain.

Trace amounts of chloride can also be found in celery and coconut.


Iodine is needed for many biochemical processes including: fat metabolism, mental development, muscle function, the production of sex hormones and thyroid function.

Iodine is found in most foods from the sea including fish broths, kelp and seaweed. It is also found in butter, asparagus, artichokes, dark green vegetables and pineapple.

Salt and Science

A study published in the 1985 British Medical Journal involved people that had a family history of high blood pressure. The participants restricted their salt intake for eight weeks. At the end of the study, no differences were found in their blood pressure readings.

Award-winning researcher Gary Taubes published a report called “The (Political) Science of Salt” in a 1998 edition of Science Magazine. In the report, Taubes concluded that “After interviews with some 80 researchers, clinicians, and administrators around the world, it is safe to say that if ever there were a controversy over the interpretation of scientific data, this is it…”

“After decades of intensive research, the apparent benefits of avoiding salt have only diminished. This suggests that either the true benefit has now been revealed and is indeed small or that it is non-existent and researchers believing they have detected such benefits have been deluded by the confounding of other variables.”

Salt and Processed Food

Professor Lichtenstein of the American Heart Association nutrition committee says, “If people eat a diet like the one we recommend that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, they probably won’t be consuming a lot of sodium.”

Therein lies the rub.

Most of the salt that people consume in the United States doesn’t get sprinkled on our food from a salt shaker. It is already present in the large amounts of processed foods the average American consumes.

This is a big deal when you realize that we spend over 90% of our grocery funds on processed foods in the US.

Dietician Katherine Zeratsky explains that salt is used to prevent spoilage and kill bacteria in processed foods. It also adds flavor and disguises unwanted tastes in food. The American Heart Association recommendation that we limit our salt intake to 2,300 mg per day is the amount of salt we eat in just an average amount of processed foods every day.

Raw vs. Cooked Foods

One of the most important roles of salt is an enzyme activator, says Sally Fallon. This is why, she theorizes, that enzyme researcher Edward Howell found that cultures that eat large quantities of raw foods need very little salt while those that eat mostly cooked foods ingest large quantities of salt.

Raw and fermented foods contain high levels of enzymes which help to digest our food and boost the immune system. Enzymes are deactivated by heat and cause the pancreas to work overtime.

Edward Howell found that low enzyme ingestion causes a “shortened life span, illness and lowered resistance to stress of all types.” He also found that people who ate mostly cooked foods, especially grains, had enlarged pancreases and smaller glands and other organs.

The health disparity of many Asian cultures as compared to ours is most likely due in part to the amount of raw and fermented foods in their diet. Ke-tsiap was an enzyme and mineral-rich condiment borrowed from the East by Dutch traders. The English added mushrooms and walnuts to this fermented fish sauce, Americans added tomatoes, and this once tasty and nutritious condiment is the forerunner of our highly processed favorite today: ketchup, which is now mostly cooked tomato and high-fructose corn syrup. Yet another example of a ‘real food’ becoming a ‘fake food.’


Nourishing Traditions, 2001

Weston A Price Foundation, 1999

British Medical Journal, 1985

CBS News, 2006

Science Magazine, 1998

Dr. Joseph Mercola, 2010

Daniel Fast: Benefits, Food List and Breakthrough Secrets

I want to introduce you to a secret healing therapy that can take your spiritual, physical and emotional health to a whole new level…it’s called the Daniel Fast and it includes many Bible foods that support healing.

Fasting is a natural discipline that can bring supernatural results.

And, Fasting works when nothing else will.

Moses, Elijah, Esther, Ezra, Job, David, Daniel, Peter, Paul even Jesus…fasted.

The Bible is filled with more than 70 references to fasting, but over the last several decades fasting has disappeared from the church and is only beginning to make a resurgence today.

What is a fast?

Fasting is abstaining from something like food, drink or entertainment for a period of time to create some type of benefit in body, mind or spirit.

There are many types of fasts which include:

-Standard Fast (water only)
-Absolute Fast (No water or food)
-Partial Fast (restrict certain food and drink categories)
-Intermittent Fast (Only eat during small daily window, for example: 1pm-6pm)

There are many variations of these fasts, and there are spiritual benefits of all of these, when we are able to devote the time spent eating to focus on God and serving others.

If you are looking for a healing breakthrough in body, mind and/or spirit, then you may consider doing a Daniel Fast.

Bible Series DanielWhat is a Daniel Fast?

The Daniel Fast is a biblically based partial fast referenced in the Bible, particularly in two sections of the Book of Daniel:

Daniel 1:12, which states, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables [pulses] to eat and water to drink.”
Daniel 10: 1-2, which says, “In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.”
Daniel Fast: Food List

According to our understanding of the Hebrew definition of “pulse” that was used in the verse for vegetables can actually mean a range of foods. Here is the Daniel Fast Food List of what you are allowed to eat:

fresh vegetables on wooden table

Water only-must be purified/filtered and spring or distilled water is best.
Homemade Almond milk, coconut water, coconut kefir and vegetable juice
VEGETABLES (should form the basis of the diet)

Fresh or cooked
May be frozen and cooked but not canned
FRUITS (consume in moderation 1-3 servings daily)

Fresh and cooked
May be dried like raisins or apricots (no sulfites or added oils or sweeteners)
May be frozen but not canned
WHOLE GRAINS (consume in moderation and ideally sprouted)

Brown Rice, Quinoa, Millet, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Barley cooked in water
No Wheat, ezekiel bread, others bread, flours, or pasta
BEANS & LEGUMES (consume in moderation)

Dried and cooked in water
May be consumed from can as long as no salt or other additives are contained and the only ingredients are beans and water
NUTS & SEEDS (sprouted are best)

Raw, sprouted or dry roasted (no salt added)
COMMON FOODS for Daniel Fast

Here is a list of some common foods you can consume in the Daniel Fast:

FRUITS (preferably organic and fresh or frozen):
Honeydew melons

VEGETABLES (preferably organic and fresh or frozen):
Brussel sprouts
Collard greens
Green beans
Mustard greens
Sweet potatoes

LEGUMES (preferably organic):
Black beans
Black-eyed peas
Kidney beans
Mung beans
Pinto beans
Split peas

NUTS & SEEDS (preferably organic, raw, unsalted and soaked/sprouted):
All nuts (raw, unsalted)
Chia seed
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds

WHOLE GRAINS (preferable organic):
Brown rice
Oats (groats soaked)

Water (spring, distilled, filtered)
Vegetable juice (fresh pressed)
Coconut milk
Coconut Kefir
Almond Milk


On the Daniel Fast, you should not consume any of the other foods or beverages listed below. And, I want to mention that on the Daniel Fast some allow sea salt or himalayan salt and others do not. My recommendation is to only use a bit of sea salt when necessary in flavoring dishes. Here are foods you definitely want to refrain from eating:

Iodized Salt
Dairy products
Breads, pasta, flour, crackers, cookies
Energy drinks
NOTE: Nutritional supplements are optional – but any taken would preferably be in line with the ingredients that are listed.

Daniel Fast Diet
Fasting Benefits

There are numerous benefits to Daniel-type fasting, but it all starts with an inward, spiritual motivation.

“This is the fast that I have chosen…to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke. Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth.”

– Isaiah 58:6

Look at these incredible benefits of Fasting!

Praying hands
1. Spiritual Benefits of Fasting
Fasting brings you closer to God
Fasting makes you more sensitive to God’s voice
Fasting helps break addictions
Fasting shows us our weakness and allows us to rely on God’s strength
resting at a tree
2. Mental & Emotional Benefits of Fasting
Fasting relieves anxiety and nervousness
Fasting can increase peace and shalom
Fasting clears your mind of negative thoughts & feelings
Fasting decreases brain fog
Fasting helps increase your ability to trust God
Fasting clears out toxins that can make you feel sluggish or depressed
happy healthy woman
3. Physical Benefits of Fasting
Fasting helps break addictions to sugar
Fasting supports the body’s detoxification
Fasting promotes healthy weight Loss
Fasting promoted healthy energy Levels
Fasting improves skin health
Fasting promotes healthy digestion and elimination
Fasting supports healthy inflammation response and promotes joint comfort
Fasting promotes healthy hormonal balance
Fasting Benefits: Spiritual, Physical & Mental/Emotional

When you fast and pray—two words that go hand-in-hand in scripture—you pursue God in your life and open yourself up to experiencing a renewed dependence on God, but it isn’t easy.

It is a spiritual discipline that requires denying your physical and mental self because your stomach and your brain will most likely work overtime to remind you when and what they want to eat!

As I mentioned earlier, Daniel wasn’t the only one in the Bible who fasted. There were others, but you don’t have to be a “spiritual giant” like Daniel or put yourself through torturous fasts to draw closer to God.

Man holding arms up in praise
However, fasts can help focus your spirit, heart and mind on God and not your own eating and drinking desires. In fact, before you begin your fast, you can make a list of prayer requests you are asking God to answer. Then, every time you experience hunger pangs or food or drink cravings, ask God to work in those prayer request areas.

Also, spend quiet time with God each day and read passages of scripture from the Bible. You don’t have to be legalistic about this. There are many quality devotionals out there, so just choose one or ask a friend you trust to recommend one.

After all, it’s about your relationship with God, not your performance for God.

I also suggest journaling during your fast so that you can write down what you believe God is directing you in. For whatever reasons, many people say that they “hear” God more clearly during a fast than other times.

Isaiah 58:6, 8 says “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear.”

The truth is that “healing” can take place spiritually, physically and mentally when you fast.

We’ve discussed some of the spiritual aspects, but there are also specific physical and mental benefits to fasting, which happens to be one of the oldest therapies in medicine.

In fact, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, believed that fasting enabled the body to heal itself. How?

During a fast, many systems of the body are given a break from the hard work of digesting foods that it normally has to manage. The extra energy the body gains gives the body a chance to restore itself, while the burning of stored calories gets rid of toxic substances stored in the body.

Here’s another example. The digestive tract is the body area most exposed to environmental threats, including bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxins. Plus, most of your immune system is in your digestive tract, so it needs to be in top shape. When food is broken down in the intestines, it travels through the blood to the liver, the largest organ of the body’s natural detoxification system. The liver breaks down and removes the toxic by-products produced by digestion, including
natural ones and the chemicals which are typically present in our food supply and often on our daily menus.

During a fast, the liver and immune system are essentially freed up to detoxify and heal other parts of the body.

Now let’s talk specifically about the elements of the Daniel Fast, including vegetables, fruits and water. The antioxidants and nutrients in vegetables and fruits help to add vibrancy to your health, including your immune system, fertility, skin and more.

A diet high in vegetables and fruits is known for halting bodily inflammation and oxidation—two primary processes that can lead to ill health.

No wonder Daniel and his friends looked better than the others!

glass of water
The Importance of WATER

Then there’s the water factor. The body is made up of approximately 60-70% water, and the body needs water to make new cells of all types, including blood cells, bone cells and skin cells. (1) Additionally, every organ and bodily system requires water to function correctly and healthily. Likewise, drinking enough water keeps your lymphatic system in tip-top shape so that wastes and toxins are removed from your body.

Water also keeps your joints lubricated, delivers nutrients to your nervous system, helps the blood transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to your cells, and even makes it so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard pumping blood through your body. Water regulates your metabolism, too, and aids in digestion and body temperature control. An added bonus is that adequate water intake hydrates your skin cells and plumps them up.

The brain, which is around 75% water, must be kept hydrated, too, and will redirect water from other areas of the body if it doesn’t get what it needs. (1)  Getting enough water also keeps your metabolism motoring, can help you feel fuller and can keep your weight in check.

After a fast, including the Daniel Fast, people report a combination of spiritual, physical and mental benefits, including a closer relationship with God, answered prayers, a better state of health, freedom from food or beverage addictions, more energy, clearer thinking, a more positive attitude, feeling lighter and much more.

The Book of Daniel
The Daniel Fast Story

Daniel was among the best and the brightest of the Israelites of his time. In the book of Daniel in the Bible, the backdrop is set: King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon
had seized Jerusalem, the capital city of Judah, and had taken King Jehoiakam captive and overrun God’s temple.

As the victor, King Nebuchadnezzar had the power to select and “enlist” young Israelite men to serve in his Babylonian palace, and he wanted only the best. So, he chose young men from wealthy, influential families who are strong, handsome and intelligent, and who exhibited strong leadership qualities.

So, Daniel and some of his friends were “enlisted” in a three-year training time prior to entering the king’s service, and King Nebuchadnezzar appointed his chief official to be in charge of them and the other leaders-in-training.

Here’s the scenario: Daniel and his buddies—devout Israelites—are placed in a pagan palace to be trained up to serve a pagan king, a process complete with a prescribed diet of food and wine from the king’s own table. Most historians agree that the king’s menu most likely included food that had been sacrificed to idols and/or meat from unclean animals, both of which are strictly forbidden by Jewish dietary customs.

Daniel, being a winsome man of conviction, asks to eat only vegetables and to drink only water instead of what’s on the king’s menu. That request was acknowledged by (not approved by) the king’s chief official, but he didn’t want to risk Daniel and his friends looking unhealthy or frail by not eating what the other recruits ate. Since Daniel couldn’t get the king’s chief official to agree to the veggie and water diet, he asked the guard appointed to care for Daniel and his three friends instead.

It took some convincing, but Daniel’s request was granted. Here was the deal. Daniel said, “Please test your servants for ten days. Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” (Daniel 1: 12-13)

The guard agreed.

Vegetable Stew
After ten days of only “pulse”—which consists of vegetables, fruits, seeds and grains—and water, Daniel and his comrades were brought before the King.

The results? Their health and appearance “appeared better than all the young men who consumed the ‘best’ food of the land from the very table of the king.”

Fast forward three years and beyond—while still eating only the pulse and water diet—and Daniel still outperformed those who ate the king’s delicacies. In fact,
the king found Daniel and his buddies were “ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.”

Ten times better!

What’s more is that Daniel outlived the king and advised the king’s grandson, Belshazzar, roughly 70 years after the reign of Nebuchadnezzar began!

That’s the story of Daniel’s 10-day fast that turned into three years as well as how it benefited him into his later years—which brings me to the 21-day Daniel Fast that is also mentioned in the Bible

The tenth chapter of Daniel describes how he ate “no choice food; no meat or wine touched [his] lips” (Dan. 10:3) for three weeks.

At this point in time, Daniel is approximately 85 years old, well beyond the years when he was a young man in King Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. However, Daniel was still attentive to what God had for him to do, which was also reflected in his diet.

For example, in Daniel 10, Daniel gets a vision from God about the future plight of the Jewish people for rejecting the Messiah and the gospel, leading Daniel into a state of sorrowful mourning that leads to his 21-day fast.

In Hebrew, the words “choice food” suggest that Daniel refused desirable foods, most likely breads and sweets or at least foods which were considered tasty. Once again, Daniel trimmed his diet down to the basics—only for sustenance, not indulgence or personal satisfaction—so that he could focus on the spiritual, not his personal needs or wants.

And while there certainly are spiritual benefits to fasting, physical and mental benefits can occur as well.

Are you ready to experience the incredible benefits of doing a Daniel Fast? If so then plan out your fast and try some of these healthy Daniel Fast recipes.

Daniel Fast Recipes

While most fruits and vegetables are edible as is, sometimes it’s nice to have recipes, so here are a few to get you started. Enjoy!


1 cup crushed almonds
1 cup oats
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all together and spread out on a non-stick cookie sheet.
Bake 20 minutes in a 250-degree preheated oven.
Stir and continue to bake another 20 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent burning. The granola should be lightly browned.
Remove from oven and serve warm or cool thoroughly and store in tightly sealed container or plastic bags.
Option: After the granola is cooled, add raisins or other organic, unsulphured dehydrated fruit.

Organic Granola Cereal
Minestrone Soup

8 cups vegetable stock
1½ cups of dried garbanzo beans
2 cups dried red kidney beans
½ cup carrots
3 medium tomatoes (or one 14-ounce can of unsweetened, unsalted Italian tomatoes)
½ cup fresh parsley
sea salt, to taste
1 cup cabbage
¼ teaspoon oregano
¾ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon thyme
½ cup celery
½ cup onion
1 clove garlic
1 package spinach noodles, cooked

Soak garbanzo and kidney beans overnight, drain and rinse.
Peel and dice tomatoes.
Cook and drain garbanzo and kidney beans as per directions on package.
Mince garlic and parsley.
Chop carrots, onion, celery, cabbage and garlic and sauté in water or soup stock over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in cooked and drained garbanzo beans, kidney beans, diced tomatoes and minced herbs.
Bring to a simmer, then turn heat down and simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in cabbage and parsley with lid partially on for about 15 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
Add more soup stock or tomatoes as needed. Serve over cooked spinach noodles.
red bean minestrone
Black Bean Soup

8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup celery
1 potato
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon honey
2 bay leaves
sea salt, to taste
1 pound of black beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 yellow or red pepper
1 cup carrots, diced
2 Tablespoons cilantro
1 Tablespoon parsley
2 Tablespoons marjoram
1 whole onion

Place beans in pot with vegetable stock, whole onion and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil and cook 2½ hours or until beans are tender.
Remove onion and bay leaves.
Chop onion, pepper and celery.
Grate carrots and potato on cheese grater.
Mince garlic and sauté in a Tablespoon of olive oil until tender.
During last hour of cooking, combine vegetables and seasonings with beans.
Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook until veggies and beans are tender.Black-Bean-Soup Bowl
Stir Fry Vegetables

1 red onion, sliced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
½ cup broccoli, chopped
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
½ cup cauliflower, chopped
1 cup zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon Oriental seasoning

Stir-fry all vegetables in 1 to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil until tender.
Add salt and seasoning.
Serve alone or over brown rice.

stir fried vegetables
[Serves 4] (Note: Harira is a great recipe for the Daniel Fast as it has nearly 15 grams of protein per serving.)


2 Tbl healthy oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil
1 cups chopped onion
½ cups chopped celery
2 cups warm water
pinch of saffron threads
½ tsp salt, divided
¼ tsp peeled fresh ginger, minced
¼ tsp ground red pepper
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups organic mushroom broth
1½ cups chopped and seeded plum tomatoes
½ cup dried small red lentils
2 15-ounce cans no-salt-added chickpeas, drained
3 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbl chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat.
Add onion and celery and sauté 4 minutes or until tender.
Combine 2 cups warm water and saffron; let stand 2 minutes.
Add ¼ teaspoon salt, ginger, red pepper, cinnamon and garlic.
Cook 1 minute. Add saffron water mixture, broth, tomato, lentils and chickpeas.
Bring to boil; then reduce heat.
Simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Stir in cilantro, parsley and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
harira traditional maghreb recipe
Daniel Fast Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ LIST):

First off, if you are pregnant or a nursing mother or are on a special diet of any sort for health reasons, then you should not go on the Daniel Fast without the approval of your primary healthcare professional.

Otherwise, here are some frequently asked questions you may want to know about.

1. What about prepared foods?
Read the labels of all prepared foods. Remember the Daniel Fast is sugar free and chemical
free. That is why I suggest organic, fresh or frozen foods.

2. What about pasta?
Make sure the label says whole grain or vegetable-based pasta like quinoa, black bean or brown rice with no additives or sugar. But, the diet should consist mostly of vegetables and fruits.

3. What about roasted nuts?
Try to stick to organic, raw, unsalted nuts and/or soaked or sprouted ones. These are harder to find, so if you have to choose roasted nuts, then get plain roasted, unsalted nuts with no preservatives.

4. How do I get enough protein in my diet while on the fast?
Protein-rich foods allowed on the Daniel Fast are almonds, sunflower seeds, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, split peas and some whole grains. Be sure you eat plenty of those.

5. What about salad dressing?
Salads are great on the Daniel Fast. Use olive oil and lemon or lime as salad dressing options.

6. Do I need to eat organic foods while on the fast?
You don’t have to eat organic, but I recommend it because choosing them keeps toxins out of your foods, meaning no use of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics or pesticides.

7. Can I go out to eat?
Yes; you can. Just make sure what you get is compliant with the Daniel Fast, such as a salad with olive oil and a baked potato with no extras on it.

8. What about bread?
If you eat bread, then I would only recommend a sprouted or sourdough bread that comes from ancient grains.

9. How much can I eat?
As long as your food choices fit the Daniel Fast, then you can eat all and as often as you want until you are satisfied!

If you want to learn more about biblical health, then check out this article on healing foods of the Bible.

Have you tried the Daniel Fast? What was your experience?

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