When you use natural Himalayan pink salt, you may do so because you like the color, taste, texture or assume that everything you read about it is true. After all, it is supposed to have many health benefits and whether you use it for its advantages or you want to experiment with the salt or just buy it because it is the latest fad, do keep in mind that it is somewhat different from regular sea salt.
What is Salt?
Salt is an essential part of all savory dishes. Your body needs salt to function properly. Salt is an important electrolyte and you need this mineral. Salt helps the body by sending signals to the brain and the nervous system. It is also important to prevent muscle cramps.
Salt regulates the body’s blood flow, blood pressure and water volume. That is why it is recommended that you have a daily intake of 1500 mg of salt daily. If you go without salt completely or your body excretes all the salt that it has, you can actually die. Think about it: bodily fluids like blood, tears, urine all contain some salt.
At the other end of the scale, too much salt is bad for you. It is indicted in high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, heart disease, stroke, edema and other medical conditions. Most people do take a lot of salt without realizing it, as many sweet processed and commercial foods contain significant amounts of salt. Salt is also a known preservative.
What is Himalayan Pink Salt?
Himalayan pink salt comes from the salt mines in Pakistan, in the Himalayas. It is usually available in granules and powders or packed in a salt grinder. You can get slabs of this salt.
It gets its attractive pink color from minerals and nutrients like
It also has marginally less sodium than other forms of salt. These are the substances (and its color) that give Himalayan pink salt its attributes.
What is Regular Sea Salt?
Sea salt comes from the sea, ocean or saltwater lakes. When the water is evaporated, sea salt is the residue left behind. It then undergoes refining and processing to remove impurities and make it fit for consumption. Sea salt is available as crystals of different sizes.
It has been used since times immemorial. It contains minerals such as potassium, iron and zinc, apart from sodium. It is often used in cooking because it is more natural than table salt and does not contain additives.
What is the Difference between Himalayan Pink Salt and Regular Sea Salt?
Chemically, both are forms of sodium chloride. Both are used in cooking or sprinkled on some foods and give a salty taste to the foods.
The differences lie in the way they are procured. Himalayan pink salt comes from mines and is a form of rock salt. Sea salt occurs naturally in the sea.
Differences are apparent in:
- Taste and flavor: Himalayan pink salt has a delicate taste and a complex flavor. Sea salt has an earthier taste and a simpler flavor profile.
- Color: As its name suggests, Himalayan pink salt is somewhat pinkish in color. Depending on the texture the shades may vary. Sea salt is white or gray.
- Price: Himalayan pink salt is much more expensive than sea salt.
- Usage: They are different in soluble properties. Even when sprinkled, Himalayan pink salt will dissolve more easily than sea salt crystals.
- Amount of sodium chloride: Himalayan pink salt contains 87% sodium chloride whereas sea salt contains up to 99% sodium chloride.
- Processing: Pink salt is less processed than sea salt.
In cooking though, you can use both salts interchangeably as they lend the salty flavor to the food.
Why Should You Use Natural Himalayan Pink Salt?
Himalayan pink salt contains as many as 84 trace minerals and a reduced amount of sodium chloride, making it a healthier option. This salt is supposed to yield many health benefits such as:
- Improved energy levels
- Reduced muscle cramps
- Toxin removal
- Balanced blood pressure
- Better sleep
- Improved respiratory functions
On the other hand, sea salt may actually be full of impurities. It is got from the ocean and seas that harbor many toxic elements like lead and mercury. It is likely that sea salt contains significant amounts of these. The oceans and seas are also polluted by micro plastics and it is possible that sea salt, too, has micro plastics. While current thinking that in such small quantities these elements are not dangerous, do you really want to take a chance if research later proves otherwise?
If you want to use natural Himalayan pink salt for its taste, flavor or health benefits, or you just want to experiment with this fashionable salt, just go for it.
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