Salt is an ingredient many of us can't do without when it comes to cooking, and rightly so: food without salt can sometimes be tasteless. Although salt is also essential to our health, we all know that in excess it can bring about serious health conditions and diseases. Thankfully, there's a healthy alternative to regular table salt that we highly recommend you try, and this is Pink Himalayan salt.
What is Pink Himalayan Salt?
Pink Himalayan salt, also known as 'white gold', is a rock salt that is naturally found in a non-polluted area deep within the Himalayas. It is known for its striking properties, as it contains 84 natural elements and minerals that are indispensable to our health. These include magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, phosphorus and iron. It also contains zinc, selenium, iodine and copper, and has traces of iron oxide (rust), which gives it its pink tinge.
Unlike regular table salt, Himalayan salt is completely natural, and contains no added chemicals or additives. For this reason, it is considered to be a healthy salt. It is commonly sold as coarse grains, or even as large blocks, although finely grained versions are available.
What are the health benefits?
Consuming Pink Himalayan salt brings a multitude of surprising health benefits to our body. Here are some:
• It controls the levels of water within the body;
• It regulates blood pressure;
• It balances the body's pH;
• It helps with blood sugar regulation;
• It aids absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract while supplying the body with sufficient energy;
• It promotes vascular health, bone strength and respiratory function;
• It prevents muscle cramps;
• It nurtures the kidneys and gall bladder;
• It regulates healthy sleeping patterns;
• It wards off signs of aging;
• It supports your libido.
Having said this, it is still very important to watch your salt intake. Just like other salts, Pink Himalayan salt may contain some traces of aluminum, lead and toxic metals, so make sure you always maintain a balance (learn more about this below).
Why should I prefer it to table salt?
Table salt is a highly processed type of salt, which can act as an 'invader' to the human body when it is turned into sodium chloride. It is widely known that this is the main cause of high blood pressure and water retention, and it can also bring about tissue irritation. Because it affects the balance of fluids in our body considerably, it causes the body to waste a great deal of energy in order to bring it back to normal.
In fact, for every gram of sodium chloride that is ingested, our body uses about 20 times the amount of cellular water in order to neutralize it. As a result, this can lead to health conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis, cellulite, and kidney and gall bladder stones. For these reasons, Himalayan salt is very often the healthier option. This type of salt is natural and hence easier on the body when it comes to metabolism and energy usage. Apart from this, it is found to have positive effects on the nervous system and is an excellent source of energy for our bodies.
How much Pink Himalayan salt should I consume?
Sodium is found in every type of salt, and this is why we should be careful not to consume more than we should, even when it comes to Himalayan salt. Excess intake of any salt can lead to water retention, high blood pressure and heart disease, and while the risk is less for Himalayan salt, it still doesn't exclude the fact that you should be cautious.
Consider the facts: According to the American Heart Association, we shouldn't consume more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily. In reality, the body can function on just 500 milligrams a day, but an average American consumes a shocking 5,000 milligrams - far exceeding the limit. The ideal amount of Himalayan salt would be a quarter-teaspoon, which contains 500 milligrams of sodium. This allows one to use it a little more freely than regular table salt.
Another way of using it: Himalayan Salt Lamp
There's another great way Himalayan salt can be used, besides consuming it. People have found that lighting up a block of this salt, to form a so-called Himalayan Salt Lamp, can transform a room both chemically and physically. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing and calming, it is also said to have some unique healing effects.