What are the health benefits of Himalayan Salt?
Well, let’s dive down into the differences between Himalayan pink salt and natural unrefined sea salt.
Did you know that naturally occurring salts – like sea salt and Himalayan pink salt – have a whole bunch of minerals that are vital to your health, such as…
- Sulfur, which can help fight fatigue, stress, pain, and even cancer.
- Magnesium, which prevents cardiovascular diseases, regulates blood pressure levels, and may even reverse osteoporosis.
- Potassium, which keeps your heart beating and reduces blood pressure.
- Calcium, which makes your bones and teeth strong.
- And many others.
Himalayan Pink Salt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Except, there’s one problem…
99% of salt found in stores isn’t naturally occurring salt. And it doesn’t have any of these minerals. Most commercially available iodized, rock, and kosher salts are stripped of all these healthy (and flavorful) minerals as they’re processed.
Plus, these large-scale chemical companies (a.k.a. Big Salt) also throw in “questionable” additives (such as anti-caking agents) into the table salt you eat every day.
So if you want salt that you can healthily incorporate into your diet, turn to all-natural sources.
The two main natural options are sea salt and Himalayan pink salt. However, both are very different from each other, starting with how the salt is obtained.
Where Himalayan Pink Salt Comes From:
When you think of the Himalayas, you may think of pristine mountain peaks capped with pure white snow.
The trouble is…
Most of the Salt Marketed as “Himalayan” Actually Comes From a Big Industrial Mine in Khewra, Pakistan!
In fact, the main process for mining pink salt shares more in common with mining coal than the “handcrafted” or “traditional” ideal that comes to mind when you think of when you hear the word “Himalayan.”
Deep underground, miners use what’s called the “room and pillar” process, which is also used in coal and iron ore mining. With heavy machinery, they dig out large caverns in the sodium chloride layer of the rock (leaving behind supporting pillars of salt to keep the mine from collapsing). Conveyors transport the salt to the surface to be processed.
View of the mosque made of salt bricks inside the khewra salt mines complex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Because the miners focus solely on the salt layer, they produce a salt that’s 95 to 96 percent sodium chloride. That means pink salt does have some of the extra minerals that are healthy for you, but not in high quantities.
Historically, salt mining was a dangerous business – so dangerous in fact that Roman officials used to sentence criminals to work in salt mines.
Nowadays, with modern technology, the process is much safer. Still, not all mines offer safe and ethical working conditions – or disclose those working conditions openly.
If you want to use Himalayan pink salt, make sure you use a reputable company – especially smaller-scale salt producers. These companies ensure safe mining conditions for their workers and offer salt with greater quality.
Where Sea Salt Comes From:
The second main type of natural salt is sea salt. Traditionally, sea salt gets harvested by small, community based “salineros” (salt farmers). This artisan process is…
One Of The Most Natural, Sustainable, and Ethical Means of Harvesting Salt
These farmers work flat areas of a lagoons or evaporation ponds, allowing the hot tropical sun to evaporate the water and leave behind pure, mineral rich, sea salt.
Unlike workers in a mine, these salt farmers are essentially entrepreneurs, getting paid fair wages for the amount of salt they produce. And as a result, they have perfected their craft of producing handmade, organic salt over thousands of years.
Artisan sea salt is fully sustainable and ethical. However…
Warning: Not All Sea Salt Is Made Equal
Lots of companies sell sea salt. But just because it says “sea salt” on the package, that doesn’t mean it’s same thing as traditional, artisanal sea salt.
These large corporations use the fact that the salt comes from the sea as a marketing claim.
It may be true enough. But what they neglect to tell you is how heavily they process their salt. By the time it gets to you, it’s not really that different than ordinary table salt (even including the “questionable” additives thrown in).
89% of all sea salt producers refine their salt. So in the end, it shares little in common with the handmade salts gathered by the “salineros” (salt farmers).
Another concern with some sea salts is that oceans are becoming more and more polluted. So you’ll want to make sure salt provider has quality tested their sea salt rigorously and/or uses natural filtration processes (such as protected lagoons) to ensure the quality of your salt.
So that’s where different kinds of salt come from. But can you taste a difference between them? Well…
Himalayan Pink Salt and Artisanal Sea Salt Affect Your Food In Very Different Ways
Pink salt is best used on delicate dishes like salads or seafood. And you can use it if you want the salt to dissolve completely into the dish – providing a slight boost to flavor, but not adding any extra texture.
That’s because coming from the dusty hills of Pakistan, pink salt has no moisture in it, making it highly absorbent and quick to dissolve. It tends to pull the moisture from food – and may not be ideal for meats or other juicy foods.
Finally, because pink salt is naturally refined, it has less mineral content. This gives the salt a more subtle flavor.
Artisan sea salt, however, creates a totally different taste experience.
Because it has significantly more moisture (usually around 14%)… sea salt doesn’t pull the natural liquids out of foods. This makes it perfect for preparing foods like roasted vegetables or meats, where you want each bite to be rich and juicy.
And it’s useful in those cases where you want the salt to add a satisfying crunch to your meal (since sea salt doesn’t dissolve as quickly).
Unlike pink or table salts, artisanal sea salt has greater mineral content. These healthy minerals contribute to a stronger and more complex flavor. Often, all it takes is a pinch to notice an improvement in the flavor of your food.
Now, you may be wondering…
Can Artisanal Salt Really Be “Good” for You?
Haven’t health officials been telling us for years that it causes high blood pressure and increases the likelihood of heart attacks?
Well, there’s something strange about this advice…
It’s not true.
No studies have ever been able to scientifically prove that eating salt is bad for the heart. Not even one.
In fact, researchers have found the opposite.
Cutting your salt intake can actually raise blood pressure – along with a host of deadly side effects. In other words, not getting enough saltis WAY worse than getting too much salt.
And to make things even crazier, health officials in America are actually aware of this wide range of research arguing AGAINST a low-salt diet. They see the clear, resounding proof, and they’re ignoring it.
To learn more… and find out how you can get your hands on real, honest-to-goodness, healthy-for-the-heart, artisan salt…
…the salt Mark Bitterman (the leading salt expert) absolutely loves and called “lush and punchy at the same time”…