Modern society’s overreliance on processed foods has negated many of the health benefits of minerals. This is also the case with sodium, or salt. While the ubiquitous table salts we consume don’t contain sufficient minerals, natural and unprocessed salts do. Of course, these salts also have the added benefit of making many dishes tastier.
Natural salts contain what are known as trace minerals; minerals that are essential to health but are not commonly consumed. There is a total of 93 trace minerals, and natural salts contain a heavy dose of them.
Here, we take a look at four salt varieties that are healthy and taste really good. Additionally, we’ll discuss some of the myriad health benefits and uses of natural salts.
Four Unique Salts That Can Actually Improve Your Health
Salt #1: Black Indian Salt
“Black salt,” or Kala Namak as it is known in areas throughout India, is frequently used as a spice in Indian and Ayurveda cooking. Interestingly, black salt isn’t black at all. The colors of this delicious ingredient range from a dark-pink hue to a dark violet.
Black salt contains a number of health benefits, but it perhaps most well-known for its detoxification properties. Kala Namak is also terrific for the skin, and is believed to help stimulate hair growth. Some people also state that black salt helps with gastritis.
Black salt has a pungent and distinct aroma, and it said to be a great additive to soups and salads.
Salt #2: Hawaiian Red Volcanic Salt
Hawaiian red volcanic salt contains 80 of the 93 available trace minerals, making it one of the most nutrient-dense natural salts on this list. Hawaiians adamantly believe that this natural salt contains potent healing and detoxification properties, and for years has been used in ceremonial rituals such as purification practices.
While the name may seem hyperbolic, the salt does indeed contain a high concentration of red volcanic clay. Called alaea by Hawaiian natives, this natural salt is distinctly pink in color.
In terms of dietary uses, Hawaiian red volcanic salt has been used as a natural preservative for many years, particularly in Hawaii. The mesmerizing color and bold flavor has made it a preferred salt for many chefs around the globe. Its use is also incredibly varied; people use it with all kinds of dishes, and even as a topping for ice cream and other desserts.
Salt #3: Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt
In addition to being another nutrient-dense natural salt, Himalayan pink crystal salt is a history lesson in itself. The product is extracted from antiquated sea bed deposits that are nearly 250 million years old. The salt contains 84 trace minerals and exhibits a wonderful rose color.
Compared to other salts on this list, Himalayan salt is quite mellow in flavor. As such, it is a very flexible culinary ingredient. The salt is used for cooking, curing and searing. In terms of food combinations, its light flavor makes it ideal for a topping on any number of foods.
Himalayan salt, as mentioned, is a powerful detoxifier. It’s often used for salt baths, as it is believed to stimulate circulation and relax muscles. Plus, according to this study, it can actually lower blood pressure. Pretty awesome(and ironic), right?
#4: Natural Gray Sea Salt
Last, but certainly not least, is natural gray sea salt. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the most nutrient-dense salt on the planet, containing 92 of 93 trace minerals. This salt is unique in many ways, including how it almost perfectly retains its original elemental structure (i.e. all of its trace elements).
Natural gray salt helps stimulate alkalinity, improve digestion, and strengthen the immune system. Texturally, natural gray sea salt is granular and fine. Taste-wise, the salt retains a bit of a “marine-life” flavor, which makes it a good seasoning for bolder dishes, such as lean cuts of beef, cheese, and lamb.
Unprocessed, mineral rich salts – such as those described above – contain a number of other health benefits not mentioned prior. Here are a few of those said benefits:
– Regulates blood pressure and helps maintain a regular heartbeat.
– Is a strong natural antihistamine; thus, is effective at clearing congestion in the lungs and nasal pathways.
– It is effective at eliminating congestion in the sinuses, as well as eliminating mucus and phlegm.
– Helps regulate blood sugar levels.
– Assists with removal of excess acidity from cells.
– Due to heavy trace mineral concentrations, natural salt ignites the body’s main energy source, adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
– Assists with nerve cell communication, including in the brain.
– Helps maintain strong bones, which may help prevent bone conditions, such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis.