High sodium intake has consistently been linked to numerous health conditions. But, honestly, we can't do without seasoning meals thus the common search for healthier ways to season meals. Pink Himalayan salt is commonly popularised as a healthier substitute for the common table salt because of its constituents but just how true are these claims?
Pink Himalayan salt is a type of rock salt from the Punjab region of Pakistan, near the foothills of the Himalayas. Just like its fancy name, it has a special appearance being pink and occuring in crystals.
It's not far-fetched that people commonly say that the pink Himalayan salt is one of the purest salts in existence but is it really a healthier substitute to common salt?
Like table salt, pink Himalayan salt contains up to 98 percent sodium chloride. The remaining 2% is made up of trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium that give the salt its signature slightly different taste and light pink colour.
The pink Himalayan salt can be used in various ways including cooking, to season meals, and to preserve food. However, there are some unusual but admittedly creative ways to use pink Himalayan salt.
Blocks of pink salt are sometimes used as serving dishes, cooking surfaces, and cutting boards.
You can also use pink Himalayan salt in place of bath salts.
There are also lamps and candle holders made of pink salt.
Pink Himalayan salt contains sodium in trace amounts. Here are some important benefits associated with sodium:
It helps maintain proper fluid balance and prevents dehydration.
It promotes proper function of the human nervous system.
It prevents low blood pressure.
New studies report that eating salt can reduce the risk of infection and kill harmful bacteria.
Some animal studies also report that sodium has a positive effect on symptoms of depression.
There are several claims about the health benefits associated with pink salt consumption. These include:
MYTH: It is a rich source of minerals
Some sources claim that pink Himalayan salt contains up to 84 different trace minerals. However, these actually occur in minute amounts since the exotic salt contains up to 98 percent sodium chloride. Given the relatively limited quantities in which people normally consume salt, and the tiny quantity of these minerals in the salt, they are unlikely to provide any measurable or significant health benefits
MYTH: It contains lower quantity of sodium than table salt
As mentioned above, pink Himalayan salt contains nearly the same amount of sodium as table salt. However, since pink salt often has larger crystals than table salt, it technically contains less sodium per teaspoon. Furthermore, it also has a saltier flavour than table salt, meaning that a person can use less salt in a serving to achieve the same taste.
FACT: It is a more natural salt
There are popular claims that Himalayan salt is more natural than table salt. Apparently, these aren't baseless claims as table salt is typically heavily refined and mixed with anti-caking agents (like sodium aluminosilicate or magnesium carbonate) to prevent clumping. On the other hand, the pink Himalayan salt is nAturally occurring and does not usually contain additives.
FACT: It can aid hydration
Another popular claim about pink Himalayan salt is that adding a pinch of pink salt to meals or drinks can help the human body achieve optimal fluid balance and promote hydration. This is indeed factual as sodium is necessary to maintain proper fluid balance.
However, this is applicable to all forms of salt and isn't limited to pink Himalayan salt.
Pink Himalayan salt is a naturally occurring salt but its sodium content and associated health benefits are the same as table salt.