Salt is undoubtedly one ingredient in our kitchens we cannot do without. Salt can be used in a number of ways. It can be added to food for flavor, it can be used for preserving food, and, it can also be used as a cleaning agent.
Imagine your life without salt. Will you be able to enjoy all the flavors of delicious looking food without salt? No. salt doesn’t just add flavor to your food, it enhances other flavors too.
Have you ever walked down the aisle in the supermarket housing salts? There is such a wide variety available. Each salt claims to be the best. Some bestsellers boast of being the purest of all.
Unfortunately, we live in an era where false claims are not considered wrong or unethical in the field of marketing. This costs consumers big losses in terms of health and money. Keeping aside all the claims from various salt producers, let us delve into details of different salts and know the truth for ourselves.
How many types of salt are there?
If you take your health seriously, you might have considered switching to healthier alternatives regarding food. Salt is one element that has always left everyone confused. There are reports that label salt as a health hazard and others that call it an essential life element.
Simply put, salt is an element with the chemical composition of sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl). Unfortunately, things are not as simple as they seem. Salts are not just a combination of sodium and chloride. There are a number of other elements present in salts; which depends upon the type of salt, the place it comes from and the way it is extracted.
Basically, there are two main types of salts. Sea salt and Himalayan pink salt. Table salt or sea salt has been an important part of the life of a common man over the past many years. It is only because of the recent studies that have brought out the health hazards of table salt, people have restricted their daily life salt consumption.
Himalayan salt, on the other hand, is many, many years old. It is hand extracted from the Khewra mines or Himalayan salt mines in the Himalayan ranges. Recent studies have shown Himalayan Pink salt to be one of the purest salts on earth with a number of health benefits associated with it.
Difference between Himalayan salt and sea salt:
Sea salt is extracted by collecting seawater and then evaporating it. The residue left behind is called sea salt.
Himalayan salt is hand extracted with proper techniques which are being used for hundreds of years.
- Physical appearance:
Sea salt is white beauty. It is coarse in texture as compared to refined table salt but good enough to blend uniformly in foods to enhance the flavors.
Himalayan pink salt comes in colors ranging from pinks to subtle hues of orange. It comes in huge blocks and chunks which are then cut and ground as desired. Since Himalayan salt is not refined or processed, the salt crystals are coarse. It also has a dull appearance which is a result of numerous trace minerals present in it.
Sea salt is acquired by evaporating the seawater. Sometimes the seawater may contain different elements other than the salt only. One good example is the different types of algae.The extraction methods used for Sea salt are yet another concern as the salt gets more polluted in the process.
The sea water is constantly being polluted. When this water is evaporated the residue consists of salt with all the impurities of the sea water.
Himalayan Pink salt is known to be the purest salt. It reaches its consumers as natural as it occurs. Apart from sodium chloride Himalayan salt boasts of carrying 84 trace mineral which is very beneficial for human health. All these Himalayan salt minerals are the reason behind the beautiful colors of this salt. Himalayan salt iodine, magnesium, potassium, and calcium content increases Himalayan salt nutrition value.
- Mineral content:
The table below shows a comparison between minerals contained in the two salts.
- Himalayan salt can be used in a number of beneficial ways:
- It can be placed around the house as decoration pieces in the form of salt lamps and candlelight holders.
- It can be used for the treatment of a number of respiratory ailments like asthma.
- It can be used in spas as salt baths and soaks
- Can be used in the kitchen as a food additive, serving platter and even as a cooking slab. Cooking with pink Himalayan salt can make food more nutritious.
- Himalayan salt sole is very beneficial for health when taken orally.
- Himalayan salt is used in salt scrubs for a glowing and healthy face.
- Sea salt uses:
- Sea salt is used for maintaining oral health. It contains fluoride which is very good for teeth health. It helps in keeping damaging acids at bay and controls the forming of dental cavities.
- Sea salt foot soak is excellent for relaxing tired feet.
- Sea salt is used for treating hair loss.
- Most of sea salt benefits for skin are due to the high magnesium content which makes it excellent for the skin. Sea minerals benefits in so many ways such as help in preventing premature aging, treating eczema, reducing dark circle and cleansing of the skin.
- Himalayan salt vs sea salt taste:
Considering there is a difference in the source and mineral content of the two salts, they may differ a little in taste.
Sea salt may contain additive flavors because of the presence of impurities like algae and microplastics.
Himalayan salt has a slight slashed quantity of sodium chloride as it contains other trace minerals. This may lead to dullness in its saltiness.
Both the salts if unprocessed, do not contain iodine naturally. Iodine is added in processed salts.
Benefits of Himalayan salt and sea salt:
Himalayan pink salt benefits are as follows:
- Creates an electrolyte balance
- Increases hydration
- Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells
- Balances pH) and helps to reduce acid reflux
- Prevents muscle cramping due to magnesium and potassium present in it.
- Aids metabolism functioning
- Strengthens bones
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps in the absorption of nutrients
- Prevents goiters
- Aids blood circulation
- Helps in removing toxins
- Himalayan salt benefits for face include cleansing, exfoliation, hydration, and pH balance of the skin.
Benefits of Sea salt:
- Keeps you hydrated
- Reduces fluid retention
- Prevents muscle cramps
- Balances electrolytes
- Good for skin health
- Nourishes adrenal glands
- Boosts metabolism and digestion
- Regulates blood pressure
- Treats psoriasis
Limit your salt intake:
Studies are supporting the fact that too much salt consumption may be harmful to human health. It raises the risk for many heart and blood-related diseases. This is the main reason so much stress is being put on cutting down salt consumption.
Fortunately, bad news of these sorts is restricted to people consuming table salt. Due to processing and refining, table salt loses many of its naturally occurring elements. These elements curtail health risks and work with the sodium of the salt to make it beneficial. Their absence makes salt useless and harmful. The additives in the table salt like anticaking and bleaching agents pose health risks too.
Although the sea salt comes with its own pack full of benefits, the constant polluting of the sea water raises many questions regarding the consumable safety index of it.
Himalayan salt, on the other hand, comes with a myriad of health benefits. Since it reaches its consumers unrefined, it has a number of useful trace minerals present in it. These trace minerals play an important role in the functioning of the human body. Also, the presence of these trace minerals complement the role of sodium inside the body and turn it into a beneficial element.