Use of salt as a preservative and flavor enhancer stretches back to prehistoric times. Until very recently, salt wasn’t a staple in many homes. Produced from evaporated sea water; salt was only common near oceans and inland seas. In fact, it was so precious that Roman Legionnaires were paid their wages in salt. Although sea salt and processed salt have a similar nutritional profile, there are health benefits to selecting sea salt or Pink Himalayan Salt over the shaker on your table. A true, unprocessed salt can actually support your body in many different ways and can be a great health enhancer.
What is Pink Himalayan Salt?
Despite its appearance – similar to sea salt in small, jagged pebbles – Pink Himalayan salt is actually mined salt, from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in the Punjab region of Pakistan. It’s believed to be the healthiest of all types of salt and is one of the purest available. The unique salmon-colored hue of Pink Himalayan salt is due to the amounts of trace elements (impurities) found within it. Many of these are minerals valuable to your body’s functions, including manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. The presence of these minerals gives Pink Himalayan salt its distinctive metallic taste.
Balance fluids and avoid dehydration
Salt has historically been used to dry food. However, in your body, balance is key. Proper sodium intake can actually help prevent dehydration and correct your ratio of sodium and potassium. Here’s how it works: sodium follows the water. If you have too much sodium, you’ll retain water, causing uncomfortable bloating. Too little sodium can cause dehydration, as your body releases water in response to the lower levels of sodium. A balanced ratio of the electrolytes sodium and potassium ensures that your blood plasma and extracellular fluid are at the proper hydration levels.
Along with potassium, sodium is an electrolyte. An electrolyte creates an electrically conductive solution, maintaining the balance of fluids between the inside and outside of every cell of your body. Improper electrolyte balance causes muscle cramping and weakness; or high blood pressure and hypertension. Natural salt is an excellent source of electrolytes, due to its unrefined nature. Pink Himalayan salt is unprocessed, leaving much of the natural sodium intact. The salt contains many of the major electrolytes, like sodium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, that are absolutely essential to good health.
Rich in trace minerals
Although all salt – even processed table salt – has plenty of the sodium that your body needs, Pink Himalayan salt is unique. The light rose hue of the salt actually indicates the presence of several vital minerals, occurring in various degrees of concentration. Adding Pink Himalayan salt to your diet instead of choosing table salt can help you naturally get the vital minerals your body requires. It’s become harder and harder to obtain trace minerals from the foods we eat due to the lack of nutrient-rich soil. However, trace minerals are still abundant in our planet’s seas and oceans, from which we get a variety of sea salts.
Improve brain function
Your brain functions using electricity. When your body’s electrolyte levels are balanced, it’s easier for your brain to communicate within itself and to the rest of your body. If your electrolytes are out of balance, then the communication between brain and body becomes disrupted. Both too much and too little sodium can affect brain function. When your body can’t properly respond to the brain, then you may experience muscle cramps, fatigue, or cloudy thinking. Ensure that you get the proper amount of sodium and fresh water in your diet.
Facilitate muscle function
If you exercise, especially weight lifting and strength training, you’ll probably hear about keeping your fluids and electrolytes in balance. As you work your muscles, small tears occur. Your body uses plenty of water to repair the damage and to help your muscles gain strength. Too much water with too little sodium can lead to muscle fatigue and soreness. Pink Himalayan salt can help balance your electrolytes naturally, allowing you to exercise without painful cramping or frustrating fatigue. Your brain is able to properly communicate the desired actions to your muscles, thereby avoiding possible injury.
Pink Himalayan salt enhances and improves the flavor of the food it seasons, making lean meats and fresh vegetables more palatable. This isn’t why it’s a digestive aid, despite its ability to enhance the taste of healthy food. Unrefined salt can help aid digestion and keep your gut functioning regularly. Too little salt can negatively impact your digestion. If you don’t get enough salt in your diet, your body will not produce enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach. Those with low stomach acid can experience unpleasant side effects during digestion such as leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel syndrome. Even the condition of your skin can be affected, as your gut simply doesn’t absorb enough nutrients.
The trace elements found in Pink Himalayan salt are important to balanced body function. Unrefined salt can also help your body metabolize the nutrients you receive from your food and increase the efficiency in nourishing the rest of your system.Properly balanced sodium levels enhance digestion, allowing your gut to absorb all the nutrients you need from the food you’ve eaten. Too much or too little stomach acid can affect this – the proper levels of sodium improve the production of the stomach acid. A properly balanced electrolyte level, as well as the ratios of sodium and potassium, lead to better muscle and athletic performance.
Unprocessed salt versus table salt
Many unprocessed salts are actually sea salts – created by evaporating sea water to leave behind mineral rich, flavorful salt. Pink Himalayan salt is unique in that it’s actually mined, not removed from the sea. However, it’s closer to sea salt than processed table salt.Table salt is mined from salt deposits underground. During processing, it’s rinsed, and vital minerals are stripped away. Although the end product is still a good source of sodium, there is a lack of other vital trace minerals. The processing actually changes the chemical nature of the salt, leading to a risk of developing cardiovascular events and chronic disease because of elevated blood pressure.
Pink Himalayan salt precautions
As with any food, too much or too little salt can hurt the body. Consuming too much sodium – whether in the form of a natural salt or as an additive to your normal food – can result in hypertension or high blood pressure. You may also experience bloating and lethargy.Too little sodium in your diet can lead to muscle fatigue and digestive issues. Either way, an improperly balanced level of sodium in your body can disrupt the electrolyte levels, leading to reduced brain-body communication. Too little sodium may also lead to dehydration. As always, consult with your physician to determine the appropriate levels of sodium for you.