Why Penélope Cruz Has Snacked On Salt While Filming

If you're the type to consume celebrity interviews, you're probably familiar with some Hollywood celebrities having bizarre food habits. Zendaya, per Spoon University, is reportedly a sucker for Instant Ramen and the Food Network reports that Meghan Markle is a fan of zucchini which she combines with her "sexy, filthy" pasta sauce. 

Another person that can be added to the list of people with peculiar snack preferences is Penélope Cruz. During an appearance on "The Late Late Show with James Corden," the Spanish-born actor shared an unusual habit of munching on salt in between meals. No, not a salty snack. Just plain old salt crystals. 

It was actor Jessica Chastain, who was also on the show, that recalled a time during filming when she noticed Cruz eating salt. Chastain jested that Cruz began talking about natural health remedies and she thought "Oh, we got one of those." Corden was amused at this short interaction and prompted Cruz who confirmed it was indeed true, going on to explain that she started eating plain salt per her doctor's suggestion. "My cardiologist told me to do it because I have very low blood pressure," she shared, adding that "it has to be the right kind of salt."

Increasing salt intake may help raise blood pressure

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is a blood pressure reading of 90/60 mm Hg or lower. When left untreated, it can lead to symptoms like dizziness, light-headedness, and nausea. 

For people with low blood pressure salt can be beneficial. Per Cleveland Clinic, the excess sodium taken in from eating more salt causes the body to retain water, which in turn, raises blood pressure because of the strain the extra fluid puts on the blood vessels. So the advice Penélope Cruz received from her cardiologist isn't unheard of. Healthline also suggests increasing sodium intake as a means to raise blood pressure. However, for some people dealing with hypotension, this may not be the most effective way to increase sodium intake, since it's possible to lose track and end up eating too much salt.

Although it's unclear how much salt Cruz is eating per day, the best way to get a handle on either high or low blood pressure is by working directly with your doctor.