Friday 8 May 2009

Benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt

I always thought that I was being really healthy by buying 'sea salt' from the shops to use in my cooking - that is, until I researched about salt and the human body.

I found that not only are a lot of these so called 'sea salts' bad for your body but that also the best salt to use, in my opinion, is a natural pink crystal salt from the Himalayas.

What is Himalayan Crystal Salt?

Himalayan pink salts are the most natural, cleanest and most pure salts found on the face of the earth. The salts are a fossilized sea salt that have been dried by the sun over millions of years from a time when there was no man made pollution on the planet.

Himalayan crystal salts are pink in colour unlike the normal standard table or 'sea salt', this is because the minerals in the salts have not been removed by the refining process.

Picture of Himalayan salt rocks.

What makes Himalayan Salt healthier than Table Salt?

Himalayan salts contain a massive 84 minerals and trace elements such as copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron to name only a few - the pink colour in the salt is due to the Iron content within the salt.

Himalayan salts helps eliminate toxins from the body, helps circulation, and helps to balance the body's PH levels (acid/alkaline balance ), keeps the nervous system working correctly and keeps your muscles in tact as well as relaxing muscles.

The tiny mineral particles in the Himalayan sea salt are metabolised easily inside your body to help the human cells function correctly.

It is not only health and culinary reasons that people like to use this sea salt, people also like to bath in these salts and use them for therapeutic purposes.

Pictures of salts (Himalayan on the left - Refined sea salt on the right)

Table salt and sea salt

As you are aware doctors and health experts will say that too much salt is bad for your health and advise people to lower their salt intake.

This is true with any salt even the most natural cleanest salt on earth can be bad for you if it is consumed to excess. But why are refined salts so much more unhealthier than unrefined natural salts such as the Himalayan?

Pictures of refined sea salt.

Refined salts are just sodium chloride, standard table salt and even most varieties of sea and rock salt have the minerals removed from the salt because they are refined.

The minerals are classed as impurities and are stripped from the salt which leaves the salt with no mineral content and just a high amount of sodium chloride. This is extremely unhealthy for the body as high amounts of it cannot be excreted from the body and cause all kinds of health problems as it can store in the body (bones and organs).

Sodium chloride needs the other trace minerals in the correct amounts for it to function correctly in your body.

We all need salt to live as our body's are made up of water and salt it is very important. But do you really want to put a refined salt that has been heated up to a massive 1200F and had every nutrient stripped from it into your body?

One of the differences between a natural salt such as Himalayan salt crystals and refined salts such as table salt or other so called 'sea salts' is of the moisture content of the salt.

When you sprinkle refined table salt onto your food you may notice that the little round grains sprinkle easily onto your food, you may also notice that if you pinch some of this salt between your fingers you can feel the little round grains that are all separated from one another and easily sprinkle straight from your fingers onto your food. None of the table salt would remain on your fingers would it? Who wants salty fingers anyway right?

Pictures of Refined Sea Salt...

See how I can barley pinch the salt as the free flowing grains of refined salt fall straight from my fingers.

There is no trace of refined salt left on my fingers because the sea salt has been treated with chemicals and heat.

See how the refined sea salt sprinkles each little round grain from off the spoon like sand.

Now lets compare the difference....

Pictures of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt...

Himalayan salts are not tiny little balls of highly treated sodium chloride - it is a moisture and mineral rich salt see how it clumps together in my fingers.

Now see how the Himalayan pink sea salt sticks to my fingers because of the moisture within the salt.

Himalayan salts do not lightly fall from my fingers like refined salt grains even when rubbing my fingers together.

See how the Himalayan sea salt sits on the spoon as I turn the spoon onto its side, this is due to the moisture inside the natural sea salt.

Rather than little round grains of dry salt sprinkling off the spoon like the refined salt, the Himalayan salt slides and drops off the spoon in one clump.

The same about moisture can be said for some other natural sea salts such as Celtic sea salt and Atlantic sea salt which are also unrefined.

Pictures of Atlantic sea salt which is also natural.

See the moisture within the Atlantic sea salt.

How Do People Use Himalayan Pink Salts?

You can use Himalayan salts just as you would any other salt to season food. Some people find that less salt is actually needed because the taste is so good.

People also use Himalayan salts in bath water or to help in nasal irrigation and cleansing the sinuses.

Picture of Himalayan sea salt.


There is also a method of using salt and water together which is called Sole (so-lay).

Sole is a water and salt solution that is identical to not only the ocean but our tears and blood too. By taking 1 teaspoon of this sole liquid a day it is thought to help eliminate different health problems and help to body function correctly.

How Sole is Prepared Using Himalayan Rock Salts

Place some salt crystals into a glass jar or container and fill up with pure water.

After a 24 hour period check the glass jar to see if the salts have fully dissolved. If the salts in the jar have dissolved add some more salt.

The salt crystals will sit at the bottom of the jar when the water can no longer dissolve anymore salt. Now it is a full 26% solution and is ready to use as sole.

It is only when the salt crystals sit at the bottom of the jar that the sole is ready. This is the exact same percentage of salt - water ratio as the ocean and as yours tears.

The correct way of taking sole is to take 1 teaspoon in the morning before breakfast.

People can feel that they have more energy and sleep a lot better by including sole or using Himalayan salts for culinary uses.

Always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet especially if you suffer from any illnesses.

Picture of Himalayan rock salts.

Salt Clinics?

There are places in the world where there are salt clinics based inside salt mines where people with congestive disorders go to be cured.

The salt mines help to clear out their bronchial tubes and sinuses because it is an 'negative ion eviroment' - salt is also naturally anti-bacterial.

Who could imagine that being inside a huge salt filled cave could be so good for your breathing over the air we breathe outside.

There are even clinics which mimic the inside of the salt mines to help people with restiportry deseases. This is because the real salt mines have been so sucessful in helping relieve symptoms for thousands of people.

Pictures of Himalayan salts.

Salt and Water

Remember that you need to drink fresh water everyday to balance your salt intake. Just the same if you drink a lot of water but do not consume enough salt this is not good for your health either as you need a balance of both salt and water for good health.

Using natural sea salts like the Himalayan pink salt can not only help to keep your body healthy but by not using refined salts you could lower your risk of getting many health problems.

Do remember that if you take salt in excess it will be bad for your health no matter how natural it is, so do not take large amounts of salts just because it is natural or else it defeats the whole object - which is to keep you healthy.

Remember that there is a reason why doctors tell you to lower your salt intake - because sodium chloride is extremely bad for your health. Real salt however is essential for your body to function correctly - ask your doctor - without salt our bodies will not work.

We cannot help every single tiny amount of salt we eat because most people do buy food with salt already in there whether it be a loaf of bread, tin of beans or the odd treat while we are out of the house. But when it comes to adding salt to your food and cooking you should be aware of the difference between natural and refined salts so that you can make a well informed decision.

Read the labels of the salts in your local shops and see which salt is the healthiest for you. You could be amazed at the difference,remember you do not need as much natural salts in cooking as the flavour is so good.

If you enjoyed reading this post then keep logging on as I am updating my food blog soon with a post about the importance of drinking water.


vanillasugarblog said...

no kidding! I had no idea it had that many minerals in it.
gee, thanks for that post, I know I appreciate it.

Parita said...

Wow thats such useful information about himalayan sea salt...thanks jeena for posting this :)

Pooja said...

Wow that was great info Jeena. I never knew the difference or I should say never cared to research too..this has really opened my eyes! Thanks a ton for sharing :)

A_and_N said...

This is really interesting, valuable information. Thanks!

Ann said...

This is an amazing info, Thanks! Where do I get Himalayan salt in US? and when u refer sea salt do u mean Kosher salt?

Seena said...

Got much information, Jeena. though we don't look for the brands, we get such moist salt.. :)

Chef Jeena said...

Thank you for your comments everyone. :-)

Ann, next time you buy your salt have a look on the packaging and it should tell you how natural or refined it is.

In the UK when foods are 'Kosher' the food just has a little symbol on it to say it is kosher. Here we don't get salt that is referred to as just 'kosher'.


Finla said...

I use them too something which i leanrned from my MIL, but have to say it is expensive, the himalayan salt here.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Wow Jeena, perfect write up... Until about a yr ago I never knew that pink salt from Himalayas are good, I watched a show about salt and the varieties and I was so shocked to see that there were slabs of salt on which meat was cooked... You have added more info, thanx for sharing!!!

Yasmeen said...

Awesome info. on salts.Wish we just had more natural salts sold in stores.

Gita Jaishankar said...

Great post Jeena, thanks for all the wonderful information, this one is an eye-opener :)

Anonymous said...

Hi from the westcoast! Thank you for your info on H. salts. You answered a lot of questions for me - have often seen these salts in my grocery store - now I know all about them! I will definately be buying these salts.

Thanks again,
Ina Gawne
Westcoast, B.C.

ARUNA said...

thanks for a wonderful post and an awesome information.......that's a lottt of research Jeena!!!Very interesting and valuable!

lissie said...

enjoyed reading your post...nice information. beautiful pictures of the Himalayan salt!

Chef Jeena said...

Thanks everyone fo rthe great feedback.

Hi Ina from the westcoast. :-)

Chutneytales said...

Thats a very informative post,Jeena.
Love the pictures too.Thanks!

Pam said...

What an informative post...I learned a lot - thanks!

Anita said...

Great info about the differences between the salts, thanks! I think the Himalayan Pink salt is such a gorgeous colour :)

Anonymous said...

Such a great post Jeenas :). I will look for Himalayan salts in health shop.
(Nellie :))

Bharti said...

Interesting post Jeena. Never heard of this salt before.

Madu said...

thanks jeena you have shared really important information..I had no idea about this.. Keep it up. I really admire it. your recipes too.

Anonymous said...

Great info, thank you. I was hoping to find a site that can explain the benefits of this salt easily and clearly so I can tell more people about it.

haydfoodie said...

The sole solution can also be used in the water bottle that many of us carry in our day to day routine. By adding just a small amount of solution without over powering the quantity in taste you end up with a high quality water simalar to saline which one would be given for dehighdration but drinkable.This can be absorbed by the body faster than any other form of water.Which makes it a great recharge for the active sport minded person

Anonymous said...

I get the H salt at Trader Joes, it comes with a built in grinder and very inexpensive. Thank you for the info

Sarah said...

Thanks for the info! I found a recipe calling for "Hawaiian sea salt" and heard someone found it at Trader Joe's. They didn't have that, but they did have Himalayan Pink Salt that comes in a grinder. I'm looking forward to trying it, especially after reading about its health benefits.

It wasn't expensive at Trader Joe's. It was less than $2.

Hip hop scholar said...

Thanks for the info geena

christie NG said...

well, after reading your posts, now I know more info with the Himalayan Pink Salt I'vw just bought. Thanks Jeena for this useful and interesting facts.