11 Amazing Health Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt
Salt is something most of us use to season our food on a daily basis. Moderation has been suggested and many fret about the amounts they consume. However, salt is very important for our health and shouldn’t be completely omitted. We just need to get it right.
Unfortunately, regular table salt, most commonly found in kitchens and restaurants around the world, has little in common with natural salt. This salt is usually highly refined. It’s almost pure sodium chloride (97% or more), with added chemicals, such as absorbents and anti-caking agents. But there are other types of salt such as sea salt and pink Himalayan salt which has incredible health benefits.
Pink Himalayan Salt
Himalayan salt is often marketed as coming from a non-polluted area deep in the Himalayas. The salt is actually harvested at the foot of the Himalayas, in a rock salt mine in Pakistan, which is considered to be the second largest mine in the world.
Himalayan salt, known as ‘white gold’ in its region of origin, contains 84 natural elements and minerals that are vital to our health, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphorus and iron. The salt’s signature pink color is a result of a tiny amount of iron oxide (rust). Zinc, selenium, iodine and copper are also present in trace quantities.
Generally speaking, Himalayan salt is considered a healthy salt because no chemicals or additives are added to it, and it’s a naturally occurring substance.
Usually, this salt is sold as coarse grains, but you can also find it finely grained or as large blocks, which can be used as a unique way to serve your culinary specialties. No matter the form, the prized mineral benefits are always there.
Health Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt
Some of the benefits of using Himalayan salt include:
- It controls the levels of water within your body.
- It regulates the pressure in your blood vessels – blood pressure.
- It balances the body’s pH.
- It helps with blood sugar regulation.
- It aids absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract and in this way supplies the body with sufficient energy.
- It promotes vascular health, bone strength and respiratory function.
- It prevents muscle cramps.
- It nurtures the kidneys and gall bladder.
- It regulates healthy sleeping patterns.
- It wards off signs of aging.
- It supports your libido.
The list sounds truly amazing and speaks of superiority of Himalayan salt. However, Dr. Helen Smith of Auckland Holistic Medical Center, writes that this salt, too, can contain some traces of aluminum, lead and some toxic metals, which is probably the risk of any rock or mineral salt.
Himalayan Salt vs Table Salt
Table salt is highly processed and this practice destroys its beneficial trace minerals and elements. When salt is turned into sodium chloride, your body experiences it as an invader and wants to get rid of it. But, it is difficult to dispose of it in a natural way, so table salt causes tissue irritation, water retention and consequently, high blood pressure. When consuming regular salt, our bodies waste tremendous amounts of energy to keep the fluid balance.
Studies have shown that for every gram of sodium chloride (table salt) you ingest, your body will use about 20 times the amount of cellular water to neutralize it. This water drainage can lead to different conditions, including rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney and gall bladder stones, and cellulite.
Himalayan crystal salt, on the other hand, doesn’t burden the body. It’s easily metabolized and results in no energy loss. On the contrary, this salt helps the body energize and has a beneficial effect on the function of the nervous system.
How Much Himalayan Salt Should you Consume?
As with every salt, you need to watch your sodium intake. Himalayan salt might be very good for you, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Himalayan salt is primarily a source of sodium. As sodium causes water retention, excessive consumption can results in different health problems – high blood pressure and heart disease being the most famous ones.
While the American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily (the body can function on as little as 500 milligrams of sodium daily), an average American consumes about 5,000 milligrams, which is of course worrying.
A quarter-teaspoon of Himalayan salt contains about 500 mg of sodium. You can use this salt a little bit more freely compared to the table salt, but still limit your consumption.
What About Iodine?
Just a brief word on iodine. Iodine is important for our thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones. The body doesn’t make it, so it is usually added to regular salt (iodized salt), and we also get it with some foods.
Himalayan salt does contain trace amounts of iodine, but you might want to look for other sources of it to meet your body’s demands. Kelp (large seaweeds; can be taken as tablets) is very rich in iodine, and so is wakame (edible seaweed often served in Japanese-style soups and salads) – you can more about seaweeds in my article how to boost your health with seaweeds and algae and how to consume them. Fish like herring, sardines and salmon contain some iodine, and fennel, spinach, garlic and carrot all have traces of iodine, too.
Himalayan Salt Lamp
Did you know that you can greatly enhance your health by using Himalayan salt lamp? Himalayan salt lamps have the ability to chemically and physically transform a room, and have unique healing effects. Himalayan salt lamps can be solid pieces of salt like this one or decorative baskets filled with large crystals of salt like this one.
Find out how Himalayan salt lamps work, where to use them and what are their health benefits: The Amazing Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamp.
Did you know that you can also cook on top of a Himalayan salt block? Get all the information in my article about the most amazing reasons to use a Himalayan slat block.