Salt and Your Health
What exactly is sea salt? Sea salt comes directly from the sea; this means no mineral content is added by humans, unlike table salt. Sea salt is considered to be the purest form of salt. The following are some reasons why you should buy sea salt:
Evaporating seawater has very little in the way of trace minerals. So much so that regular salt wouldn’t touch them. Sea salt undergoes less processing compared to regular salt. Therefore, flakes are collected more rapidly from evaporating seawater and will contain trace minerals which can alter the taste. However, the unevenly shaped flakes do not stack up equally and make a less dense pinch.
Evaporated seawater is also brine. This means that it contains high levels of salt and the concentration varies depending on the tide and weather conditions at any given time. It is the brine that is often removed from sea salt in order to make it more crystal clear and lighter for cooking purposes. Note that the amount of minerals in cooking is limited to trace mineral levels only. As a result, sea salt contains trace minerals for use in making sea foods such as salsas, sauces and marinades.
There are other trace minerals found in sea salts, however, that have more health benefits than merely adding a taste to your food. Sodium chloride is one such mineral. It works as an antiseptic and deodorizer. It also has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria, which makes it ideal for people with a compromised immune system. The sodium in sodium chloride is replaced with sodium ions, thus enhancing the taste and health benefits of the salt.
Unlike coarse sea salt, marine grade Himalayan salt offers a much higher concentration of magnesium and sodium chloride. These two minerals work together to enhance the flavor and mineral content of foods. The lack of sodium also allows for a greater flavor and aroma. In many recipes, the addition of Himalayan sea salt helps to remove the fishy taste that sometimes accompanies canned tuna or salmon.
Fine sea salt is also harvested in the sea floor. It is harvested by harvesting tiny oysters and filtering them using ultra-violet light. The oyster molts and the process of filtering are left to the natural environment. As a result, the salt is purified as a natural salt and the harvesting is done only once each year. Harvesting and filtering of this fine salt allows for the harvesting of calcium, magnesium and potassium. These are minerals that are beneficial to the body and help with a range of common body ailments.
The clarity and purity of sea salt are greatly enhanced when it is refined. When refined salt is made from sea salt and comes into contact with other ingredients, its properties are altered. Often, the trace amounts of magnesium and potassium that were originally in the sea salt are replaced by sodium and even sometimes other elements. This process removes the beneficial trace amounts and leaves the salt with a lower concentration of these trace minerals.
Because sodium is needed to replace water in the human body, people who live their lives mostly outdoors must be careful about how much salt they intake. To prevent the introduction of harmful contaminants to their bodies, many choose to supplement their diets with a fine sea salt. Not only does this allow for a higher level of mineral concentration, but it also allows for a healthier diet. Many who live on a salt free diet find that once they add a fine sea salt to their table salt, they feel better for longer.