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Pink Himalayan salt is often said to be the most beneficial as well as the cleanest salt available on this planet today. It has all kinds of nutritional and therapeutic properties, not to mention culinary Himalayan pink salt uses. You can use it as a healthier option to processed salt. You can also use it to create homemade body scrubs and bath soaks, and you may have seen or even already own a pink Himalayan salt lamp. Historically, the people of the Himalayas have used this versatile salt to preserve meat and fish.
Is salt bad for you?
As scientific research has pointed out, “US Dietary Guidelines recommend a daily sodium intake 2300 mg, but evidence linking sodium intake to mortality outcomes is scant and inconsistent.” The right salt in the right amount can actually be very good for your health (much more on this to come).
Himalayan salt minerals are very impressive. Pink Himalayan sea salt can contain over 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, so it does more than just make your food taste better.
What Is Pink Himalayan Salt?
In general, salt is essential for maintaining healthy functioning of the body’s cells, nerve conduction, digestion, as well as the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste products. Pink Himalayan salt is a truly unique salt. It’s also referred to as pink salt, Himalayan sea salt, rock salt and Himalayan crystal salt. With a history dating back to Earth’s creation, Himalayan salt is believed to be composed of dried remnants of the original, primal sea.
This salt is classified as rock salt or halite, which comes from the Punjab region of Pakistan about 190 miles from the Himalayas. This region has one of the richest salt fields in the entire world, and they are very, very old. I’m talking Precambrian age or over 4 billion years ago when planet Earth first formed! Himalayan crystal salt comes from salt mines 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan Mountain Range. The salt from these mines has experienced tremendous pressure over millions of years and is said to be over 99 percent pure.
Pink Himalayan salt’s color as well as its color variations are indicative of its mineral content. Himalayan crystal salt can be pink, white or red in color.
As a salt, pink Himalayan salt is chemically sodium chloride (NaCl), which is defined as a “mineral substance of great importance to human and animal health.”
If you’re looking to compare pink Himalayan salt vs. sea salt, pink Himalayan salt is a type of sea salt. Another type of sea salt like Celtic sea salt is comparable to Himalayan crystal salt in its composition and health benefits, but it’s a completely different salt that comes from a different source (Brittany, France), has a different color (grayish) and a different mineral makeup.
Many Himalayan salt companies say that Himalayan pink salt contains 84 trace minerals, but there is debate that both types of sea salts contain around 60 minerals. Either way, they both contain minerals in small amounts. Conclusion: Pink Himalayan salt is a type of sea salt and generally speaking, sea salts contain valuable minerals. The type and amounts of these minerals can naturally vary depending upon the source of the sea salt.
Why Is It Better than Table Salt?
Pink Himalayan salt is a much more balanced and healthy choice in comparison to common table salt. True, high-quality pink Himalayan salt is one of the purest salts you can find. It’s even typically mined by hand. This is very different from table salt that involves a great deal of unnatural interference. Table salt is very heavily processed, eliminating its minerals and only makes the list of iodine sources because it has added iodine. Commercial table salt is typically 97.5 percent to 99.9 percent sodium chloride. Meanwhile, a high-quality unrefined salt like Himalayan sea salt may be only about 87 percent sodium chloride.
With most table salts, you’re only left with one mineral (sodium), some added iodine and most often some really health-hazardous anti-clumping agent like yellow prussiate of soda. Himalayan salt minerals typically include calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron.
While Himalayan salt nutrition can be impressive, like other sea salts, Himalayan salt iodine content is typically very low if at all so it’s not a good source of this nutrient and you’re better off consuming iodine-rich foods to obtain this nutrient.
Many commercial table salts also undergo a bleaching process and contain aluminum derivatives and other terrible ingredients known to be highly toxic to human health. Conclusion: Himalayan pink salt is often mined by hand and very pure while table salt is far from its natural state and very heavily processed. Other than sodium, the only nutrient table salt contains is added iodine.Meanwhile, Himalayan salt nutrition contains various minerals in small amounts such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron.
5 Benefits and Uses
There are many possible health benefits of Himalayan pink salt, including:
Subjects on low-sodium diets (around 500 milligrams a day) woke up during the night almost twice as often and got about 10 percent less sleep than those on a normal diet (2,000 milligrams of sodium a day). A high-sodium diet (5,000 milligrams a day) led to even longer sleep than the normal diet with fewer nighttime wakings.
As Dr. Michael V. Vitiello, the director of the Sleep and Aging Research Program at the University of Washington in Seattle, keenly points out, “low levels of sodium in the blood cause blood volume to decrease, and the sympathetic nervous system becomes more active in order to compensate. That causes sleepers to wake up more often and have difficulty going back to sleep.” Don’t go wild with the salt at your next meal, but it’s good to know that avoiding salt completely or not getting enough in your diet on a regular basis may cause or contribute to your sleep troubles.
Additional Himalayan pink salt benefits may include:
If you’re wondering when to use pink Himalayan salt, you can use it anytime you would use table salt or another variety of sea salt. It can also be used in homemade body scrubs and you can make a pink Himalayan salt bath.
Top potential Himalayan pink salt benefits may include a boost to respiratory health, optimal pH levels, improved digestion and better sleep. You can use Himalayan salt for cooking and seasoning just like you would use table salt or another variety of sea salt.
Risks, Side Effects and Interactions
You should always store salt in an airtight, covered container in a cool, dry place to keep it at its best. Make sure your Himalayan pink sea salt comes from Pakistan, which is the only true source of real Himalayan salt. If it’s not from Pakistan, it’s fake Himalayan pink salt. I would stay away from any “Himalayan salt” that’s sold at too low of a price. This may be a sign that the salt was collected from higher elevations rather from the deeper, more pure salt mines.
The salts from these higher levels are more likely to contain impurities, which makes them less health-promoting. Since pink Himalayan salt contains so many minerals, it’s more beneficial to the body, but as a salt, it’s still naturally high in sodium. So as with any salt, you don’t want to overdo it.
Himalayan pink salt side effects as a result of getting too much sodium in the diet (especially with not enough potassium to balance things out) can lead to high blood pressure for some people. It can also lead to a concerning buildup of fluid in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver or kidney disease.
When used in moderation, salt really can be a healthy addition to your diet — especially if you make the upgrade to a pure, beneficial flavor enhancer like pink Himalayan sea salt. Not only is it rich in minerals, but it makes food taste great.
It can also be used in baths and to make homemade beauty products like body scrubs.
It can make so many meals that much tastier while also providing you with a boost of key nutrients and highly desirable health benefits. For instance, pink Himalayan salt benefits include improving respiratory problems, balancing pH levels, aiding digest, purifying air and inducing better sleep.
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