All you need to know about Himalayan Pink Salt
Salt consumption is crucial for your survival. It is important for the body as it is essential in regulating the body’s overall fluid levels. The presence of sodium ions in our body is also essential for the transmission of nerve impulses and contractions of muscles, including the heart.
But it is not just health needs, is it? Mostly consumed in small amounts, it is hard to imagine a delicious dish without a slight sprinkle of salt. A pinch of salt is all that you need to turn a dish palatable and pleasant.
Recently, we have seen a number of people making a switch when it comes to choosing salt. On a daily basis, many people are preferring Himalayan Pink Salt over the regular table salt.
What is the reason behind it? Well, the Himalayan Pink Salt is not just higher in its iodine content, but unlike the table salt, it is not fortified and is procured manually.
The Himalayan Pink Salt is a kind of rock salt that is mined from the foothills of the Himalayas. 98% of this salt is made of Sodium Chloride, while the rest are beneficial trace minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, potassium and vanadium. It is actually these trace minerals that contribute to the unique and earthy taste of the pink salt, and makes it different from the other salt variants, despite them being similar in their chemical composition.
Apart from the taste, the Himalayan Pink Salt is healthy and preferred from the rest of the salts because of its various distinct characteristics. Let us take a look at those distinguishing attributes-
|Himalayan Pink Salt||Regular Sea Salt|
|Source||Himalayan Pink Salt is extracted from the mines of Rock salt of the Himalayan region.||Sea salt is procured by collecting water from the sea, oceans, or saltwater lakes in a man-made pool and then it undergoes evaporation. Salt residues develop once the water evaporates.|
|Texture and Taste||Himalayan salt is coarse and has color that varies from red to pink and consists of a strong taste if consumed directly.||Sea salt has a bristly texture too but it holds a grayish to white tinge of colour. It also has a strong taste when consumed directly, although it is different from that of Himalayan salt.|
|Elements in the Salt||It contains trace minerals along with other elements.||Trace minerals are also found in sea salt, but there is a high risk that these are traces of heavy metals like lead. This usually happens because of pollution and can have a negative impact on the water quality in the regions from where the salt is extracted.|
According to the current guidelines of the World Health Organization, adults should limit their salt intake to less than 5 grams (about one teaspoon) per day.
The above characteristics make the pink salt beneficial for us in various ways. Although, it is the following two benefits that really make the pink salt healthy.
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The two primary benefits of the Himalayan Pink Salt
- Regulates blood sugar and maintains hormonal balance
Including Himalayan Pink Salt in your everyday diet can ensure a proper flow of fluids in your body. You can also improve your insulin sensitivity and avoid sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels by maintaining a balance between minerals and hormones in your body.
- Improves digestion
Himalayan Pink Salt is capable of activating your salivary glands that release an enzyme called amylase. When the enzyme is released, it helps our body to digest carbs. Pink salt also stimulates hydrochloric acid along with an enzyme that aids in the digestion of protein and also in the breakdown of food.
Why prefer Himalayan Pink Salt over Regular Table Salt?
Most of the nutrient content of the sea salt is stripped away in the process of intense bleaching and refining. The regular salt that you sprinkle in your food every day might not be as healthy as you think. Moreover, today, it has become a factory-made product.
The beautiful crystals of the Himalayan Pink Salt are known for an earthy taste and also provide a rich flavour to whatever they are added to. The pink tint is due to the presence of iron oxide in the salt. This salt has been forming under the enormous foothills along with great tectonic pressure for over 250 million years now. After being mined, it is washed manually and hence, there is no processing involved in the preparation of Himalayan Pink Salt. This is the reason why it is popularly known as the purest salt on earth.
The mineral composition of Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan Pink Salt contains 84 minerals and all of them offer several health benefits. Here is a list of the five most important trace minerals found in this salt:
- Sodium: Our body needs sodium for various functions. It helps us in preventing dehydration and keeps our blood pressure levels in check. It also aids our body during contraction and relaxation of muscles and help send impulses to the nervous system as well.
- Calcium: It is known for its potential to regulate blood pressure levels, maintain a healthy alkaline pH level, build strong bones, teeth and gums and help prevent the onset of obesity, kidney stones, and premenstrual depression.
- Magnesium: It plays a crucial role in calming our blood vessels, proper functioning of nerves and muscles, formation of teeth and bones, and is also an essential component of the biochemical processes in our body. It also promotes the creation of adenosine triphosphate which is referred to as the “molecular unit of currency” of intracellular energy transfer in our body and also helps regulate insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.
- Iron: The most important purpose that iron serves is the production of hemoglobin, which is a vital step in the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. Along with that, it also helps in energy production and promoting the strength of our immune system.
- Potassium: Himalayan salt contains higher amounts of potassium compared to other natural and unprocessed salts. This helps your body maintain a balanced potassium-to-salt ratio, which is very important for your body to function properly.
The significance of salt consumption
Health experts suggest that the lesser you consume salt, the better it is for your health. However, this line of thought has its own set of drawbacks. Although, there are a lot of health risks associated with consuming salt in extreme amounts, a major decrease in its consumption is definitely dangerous for your health.
According to a study published in Lancet, high-salt intake in diets were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular issues and even death in people who suffered from hypertension. Whereas, the lack of salt in the diets also pointed towards high possibility of heart related issues like strokes and heart attacks in both groups of people- who suffered or did not suffer from hypertension.
Results highlighted that a daily intake of nearly 3,000 milligrams of salt was connected to optimal health.
Ultimately, you have to ensure that your body is able to strike a balance between the sodium and potassium levels, maintaining optimal sodium levels is not enough alone.
A 2014 study in the journal ‘Advances in Nutrition’ pointed out that a person’s sodium to potassium ratio was more strongly linked to blood pressure changes, as opposed to either sodium or potassium individually. Balancing the ratio between sodium and potassium in your body involves increasing the intake of food that is rich in potassium along with moderately consuming foods with higher sodium amounts.
Examples of foods that are naturally high in potassium but low in sodium include:
|Nuts and seeds||Broccoli|
Although the salt might seem to be quite a basic component of one’s daily diet, it certainly has a pronounced effect on our general health and good living. So plan your diet wisely, and do not forget to add that magical and essential sprinkle to it. Not just the sprinkle of any salt, but the kind you deserve, the kind that is right – the Himalayan Pink Salt!