A new study has found that salt can put people in a better mood. So forget doling out loads of cash on therapist's fee or anti-depressants pills.
According to University of Iowa psychologist Kim Johnson and colleagues, when rats are deficient in sodium chloride, common table salt, they shy away from activities they normally enjoy, like drinking a sugary substance or pressing a bar that stimulates a pleasant sensation in their brains.
"Things that normally would be pleasurable for rats didn't elicit the same degree of relish, which leads us to believe that a salt deficit and the craving associated with it can induce one of the key symptoms associated with depression," Johnson said.
The researchers said that the idea that salt is a natural mood-elevating substance could help explain why people are so tempted to over-ingest it, even though it's known to contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems.
Johnson published a review of these findings in the July issue of the journal "Physiology and Behavior" with Michael J. Morris and Elisa S. Na, UI graduate students.