This post about the health benefits of sea salt, why it is all I use in my kitchen, and why you should toss your white table salt!
Salt has been used in various ways for thousands of years (as early as 6500BC). From being used for religious offerings or as a form of currency, to the most useful seasoning to have in every kitchen, salt truly has a valuable place in this world.
Salt not only helps to balance and enhance the flavour of our food and is used to preserve food, it actually has some pretty cool health benefits too!
But there is a big difference between sea salt and table salt.
So I am going to clarify the difference:
Sea salt is crystallized form current bodies of water by either open-air solar evaporation or vacuum evaporation. It is often unrefined, and this will make it grey in colour from sediment and clay impurities. White table salt as been processed and stripped of its minerals and nutrients. My favourite kind of salt to use is himalayan salt which is actually pink in colour, and comes from (you guessed it) the Himalayas. It is pink due to the minerals found in the salt deposit that was formed thousands of years ago when an ancient inland sea slowly evaporated which left behind massive minerals deposits of salt.
White table salt is processed and stripped of the trace minerals and impurities and is supplemented with anti-caking agents such as sodium aluminosilicate, silicon dioxide, and magnesium carbonate. Table salt is also iodized with potassium iodide or other sources of iodine. The reason why table salt gets a bad reputation is due to the processing. Because all of the minerals besides sodium are stripped away from the salt, you are only left with sodium and chloride, which cause imbalances in the body.
Why is table salt bad for you?
As mentioned above, table salt is stripped of the nutrients and when consumed in high amounts, it causes imbalances in the body. The main issue with table salt is the high amount of sodium. Sodium helps to regulate fluid in the body, and when there is too much of it, our bodies can hold on to a lot of fluid. When there is too much fluid around the heart for example, this leads to hypertension and can increase our chances of heart failure and obesity.
That is why I only use sea salt in my kitchen. Sea salt has tons of trace minerals and when used in moderation, can have some health benefits.
What are the health benefits of sea salt?
- Trace minerals: Sea salt can boast up to 75 different trace minerals, which help to prevent deficiency in the body.
- Balances electrolytes: Electrolytes are critical to the nervous system and are vital for muscle, heart and brain health. You already know that sea salt is a source of sodium, but did you know that it also contains potassium, magnesium and calcium!
- To make a super simple electrolyte balancing beverage, simply add a pinch of sea salt to lemon water!
- Supports the adrenal glands: Salt cravings can be a sign of adrenal fatigue caused by stress, poor diet and lack of sleep. The reason that our body craves salt, is because it is actually craving the nutrients in the salt. The adrenal glands play an important role in the body, one of those roles is to release hormones that regulate sodium and potassium levels on the body. Among a lot of other things, consuming minerals helps the adrenal glands stay healthy and function properly.
- Alkalizes the body: Sea salt is alkalizing, and can help reduce high levels of acidity in the body caused by inflammation or poor diet.
- Aid in digestion: Sea Salt facilitates digestion by stimulating the salivary glands and helps the body produce digestive enzymes and acids that break down food.
Other ways to use salt for wellness:
- Reduce muscle cramps: If you have never heard of having an epsom salt bath, you are living under a rock. The high magnesium content helps to relax muscles, and soaking in a hot bath with lots of salt in it helps to relax and calm the muscles.
- I typically add about 2 cups of sea salt to my bath for soft skin and muscle relaxation.
- Exfoliate your skin: exfoliation is great to stimulate the lymphatic system and helps to remove dead skin cells.
- mix together 1:1 ratio os fine sea salt and olive oil and scrub your body with it in the shower!
- Clear sinus congestion: Have you ever used a neti pot before? Neti pots are used in ayruveda to cleanse the nasal pathways. It is done by adding sea salt to warm water, tilting your head and pouring it into your nostril and it comes out of the other nostril. I have done it before successfully, however I have had more failed attempts than successful ones haha. That being said, I have noticed a big benefit after cleansing my nasal pathways with a neti pot!
- Soothe eczema and psoriasis: Salt baths can help open to pores of the skin and hydrating the skin. It can relieve the itchiness and dryness that causes pain when struggling with eczema and psoriasis.
- Salt therapy: You can go into rooms or caves made of salt… Yup, that’s a real thing! And it helps promote relaxation, reduce inflammation, aid respiratory conditions and cleanse the body of toxins.
So tell me, are you ready to toss your white table salt in the trash (or over your shoulder for good luck) and replace it with sea salt?!