I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately from clients asking, “how much salt is too much”, or “what type of salt should I use when I cook”? Although the first answer is obvious, as little as possible, the second might not be so obvious. Sure, you can use iodized salt, which has iodine added to it, was initially developed to eliminate goiter due to iodine deficiency. Simply put, iodized salt has iodine-containing salts added into it due to the average American diet providing very little. It was initially added to salt around 1924 at the request of the US Government due to the growing need of iodine deficient disorders like goiter. Table Salt or “Iodized Salt” is not a healthy naturally occurring rock, crystal or sea salt. It is a manufactured type of sodium called sodium chloride with added iodide. The iodine in salt available at grocery stores, restaurants and in practically all processed foods, have synthetic chemicals added to them. It’s been bleached, and unfortunately, most table salt is not only unhealthy, it’s toxic to the body and should never be considered a healthy source of healthy iodine.
Salt found in nature is not usually white, in-fact, it’s pink in color, such as Himalayan Crystal Salt which is harvested in pristine mountains and naturally dried in the sun.
So What Makes It So Pristine?
A couple of hundred million years ago, crystallized sea salt beds, now deep within the Himalayans, were covered by lava. Aside from it being kept in a pristine environment that’s surrounded by snow and ice year round, the lava is though to have protected the salt from modern-day pollution, and believed to be the purest salt to be found on the earth.
Why Is It Pink?
Himalayan salt is rich in various mineral and energy-rich iron content. The many hues of pink, red and white are an indication of how rich this salt’s content is.
If we look for a moment at how the vitamins and minerals are perfectly packaged into both fruits and vegetables, the same applies to pink salt, because this salt was formed naturally, the minerals within the sodium work in synergy.
Iodine: Natural salts are rich in iodine, so it doesn’t need to be artificially added in.
Less Sodium per Serving: Although Himalayan pink salt is made of the same components as table salt, the crystal structure in pink salt is larger than refined salt, so by volume pink salt has LESS sodium per 1/4 tsp serving, because the sea salt crystals or flakes take up less room on a teaspoon than highly refined salt.
80+ Minerals and Elements: Himalayan salts are mineral packed crystals – they’re over 85% sodium chloride, and 14+% other trace minerals such as: sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium and fluoride (in descending order of quantity). Because of these minerals, Himalayan pink salt can:
- create an electrolyte balance
- increase hydration
- regulate water content both inside and outside of the cells
- balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux
- prevent muscle cramping
- aid in proper metabolism functioning
- strengthen bones
- lower blood pressure
- help the intestines absorb nutrients
- prevent goiters
- improve circulation
- dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins
Why Is It Better Than Table Salt?
When we look at commercially refined salt, it’s stripped of all its minerals, besides sodium and chloride, and it’s cleaned, bleached and heated at unnecessary high temperatures. Then they treat it with anti-caking agents to prevent salt from mixing with water in the container…because you’re buying salt, not brine-in-a-box. These agents also prevent dissolving within our system leading to build up and then deposit in organs and tissues, causing sever health problems. *light bulb!* It’s making sense now isn’t it? Finally, iodine that’s added to salt is usually synthetic which is difficult for your body to process.
Himalayan Pink Salt, has none of these additives and leads to none of these negatives. Simple enough right?
The Many Uses of Pink Salt
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use Himalayan pink salt around your home.
- Cooking and Curing: You can put it in a salt grinder and use it like you would any other salt.
- Salt Slabs / Cooking Platters: When you use these as slabs/platters, they impart an enhanced salt taste and mineral content onto your food.
- Chilled you can decorate fruits, sushi, vegetables or cheese.
- Frozen, you can present cold desserts and even sorbets on it.
- Heated: you can use the slabs to sear vegetables, shrimp, fish fillets or thinly sliced beef…you can even fry an egg on it, and have near perfect heat distribution.
- Decoration: You can place the salt in containers, as décor crystals and sprinkled on food for presentation.
- Bathing: Toss in some into your bath for a detoxifying Himalayan salt bath. The replenishing nutrients stimulate circulation and soothe sore muscles. It’s a healing and therapeutic experience as your body nourishes itself with 80+ natural minerals.
- Potpourri Holders and Essential Oil Diffusers: Drop some salt into your diffusers to distribute natural negative ions around an area of your home. They help your body feel renewed and refreshed. Negative ions can neutralize positive ions created by electronic devices like computers, TV’s, microwaves and even vacuum cleaners, which can lead to problems like allergies, stress and sleep trouble.
- Brining for Meat: If you’re a meat-eater like I am, brining should be in your bag-of-tricks, as it can make the meat very juicy and succulent. A basic low-sodium brine for pork and poultry is:
- 1 gallon of water
- 3 ounces of Pink Salt
- 3 ounces of sugar (optional)
- 1 Tbsp citrus zest (lemon, lime or orange – optional)
- Add the salt, sugar and other aromatics to a pot and bring the water to a simmer until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
- Remove the pot from the heat and chill before using the brine.
- Let your protein brine for 6 hours, then drain and let it rest and air dry in fridge for 2 hours.
- Roast, broil or grill as you would. Bon Appetite!
So there you have it. If you’re concerned about the amount of sodium in your diet, and are looking for a great alternative to using regular or sea salt, then Himalayan Pink is the way to go. It’s all I use to cook and season with now, and I can personally attest to it won’t take long for you to start noticing those benefits!
Have a comment or question about this article? Please, leave it below in the comments section. I love getting feedback!