Pink Himalayan: A More Natural Salt
Pink Himalayan salt is a type of rock salt from the Punjab region of Pakistan, near the foothills of the Himalayas
Pink Himalayan salt is chemically similar to table salt. It contains up to 98 percent sodium chloride.
The rest of the salt consists of trace minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These give the salt its light pink tint.
These minerals also explain why Himalayan salt tastes different from regular table salt.
How is it used?
People use this type of salt and common table salt in the same way: As part of cooking, to season meals, and to preserve food.
Blocks of pink salt sometimes become serving dishes, cooking surfaces, and cutting boards. Some people also use pink Himalayan salt in place of bath salts. It is also possible to buy lamps and candleholders made of pink salt.
Why does the body need salt?
Sodium is an essential trace mineral found in salt. The body needs this for a variety of functions.
It can support:
- contracting and relaxing muscles
- maintaining proper fluid balance and preventing dehydration
- sending nervous system impulses
- preventing low blood pressure
- One study on animals has also led researchers to infer that salt may have a positive effect on symptoms of depression.
Benefits and myths
There are several claims about the health benefits associated with pink salt consumption. These include:
- Rich mineral content
- Some sources say that pink Himalayan salt contains up to 84 different trace minerals.
- As it contains up to 98 percent sodium chloride, this means that only around 2 percent is made up of these various trace minerals. Given the relatively limited quantities in which people normally consume salt, and the tiny quantity of these minerals in the salt, they are unlikely to provide any measurable or significant health benefits.
- Maintains proper fluid balance
- Improves hydration
Some people believe that pink Himalayan salt is lower in sodium than regular table salt. However, both types consist of approximately 98 percent sodium chloride.
As pink salt often has larger crystals than table salt, it technically contains less sodium per teaspoon. It also has a saltier flavour than table salt, meaning that a person can use less salt in a serving to achieve the same taste.
However, pink salt is also available in a smaller granule size that more closely resembles regular salt. Consider this when seasoning food and measuring sodium intake.
A more natural salt
Table salt is usually heavily refined and mixed with anti-caking agents to prevent clumping, such as sodium alumino-silicate or magnesium carbonate,
Himalayan salt is less artificial and does not usually contain additives.
Iodine is a mineral that the body needs for maintaining proper thyroid function and cell metabolism. Great sources of iodine include fish, sea vegetables, dairy, and eggs, among other foods.
Iodised salt is another common source of this trace mineral. Although pink Himalayan salt may naturally contain some iodine, it most likely contains less iodine than iodised salt. Therefore, those who have iodine deficiency or are at risk of deficiency may need to source iodine elsewhere if using pink salt instead of table salt.
Although sodium is necessary for preserving life, it is important to monitor the intake of any type of salt. While sodium is necessary in small quantities, too much can have a negative impact on health.
Those with kidney, heart, or liver issues, or people on a sodium-restricted diet, should monitor their sodium intake and limit their use of all salt, including pink Himalayan salt.
Those that have high blood pressure should limit sodium intake to 1500 mg per day.
Certain quantities of salt contain the following amounts of sodium:
1/4 teaspoon salt: 575 mg sodium
1/2 teaspoon salt: 1,150 mg sodium
3/4 teaspoon salt: 1,725 mg sodium
1 teaspoon salt: 2,300 mg sodium
When people take in more sodium than they need, their kidneys try to remove the excess through the urine. If the kidneys cannot remove enough sodium, it begins to build up in the fluid between cells, known as the interstitial fluid.
This causes both water volume and blood volume to increase, putting additional strain on the heart and blood vessels.
A number of serious health conditions are linked to high sodium intake, including:
- high blood pressure
- heart disease
- liver damage
- kidney disease
If you are in doubt, please contact us for qualified advice.
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