Salt is essential to life. Sodium is one of the seven macrominerals (along with calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur) and is used for a multitude of biochemical processes such as fluid and acid-alkaline balance and electrical signaling in the nervous system. It is also necessary for adrenal gland function.
All salts are mainly made up of sodium chloride. Table salt is manufactured by cooking to 1200°F, which removes the other trace minerals. Chemicals and anti-caking agents are then added and it is bleached to make it white. This type of salt has almost no benefits and plenty of drawbacks; in many cases it is positively toxic, causing high blood pressure, kidney problems and impaired muscle and nerve function. It should be avoided at all costs.
While sea salt is a far better option than table salt because the other minerals are still present, sea pollution means that producers are having to refine their products, meaning that some of the natural goodness is taken away. Probably the purest sea salt available is from the salt marshes in Brittany where it is still produced using ancient methods.
My favourite salt is Himalayan crystal salt. Not only is it a pretty pink colour (shallow? Moi?), it contains 84 minerals and trace elements in ionic state, meaning that they are tiny enough for the body’s cells to absorb them easily. Its benefits include :
- Water regulation
- Healthy pH balance
- Healthy blood sugar
- Generation of hydroelectric energy in the cells
- Food and nutrient absorption
- Respiratory health
- Prevention of muscle cramps
- Sleep and relaxation
- Blood pressure regulation
Not only is Himalayan salt an excellent choice for use in the kitchen, a few handfuls added to warm (but not hot) water makes a wonderfully relaxing and detoxifying bath. Soaking in a Himalayan salt bath provides an effective treatment for dry skin and psoriasis, soothes insect bites and relieves muscle pain or cramping, as well as easing arthritis. Finally, it reduces stress and promotes a good night’s sleep.