Himalayan pink salt is gaining more and more space in the kitchens of the world. The Himalayan salt, also called pink salt from the Himalayas, is a type of salt found naturally in color pink salmon in regions close to the Himalayas in Pakistan. 

 

It is known to be beneficial for health due to its mineral content. However, there is little research on the benefits of Himalayan pink salt, which is why some health professionals claim that it is salt with overestimated benefits. But what is the evidence?

 

What is salt?

The salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (98 wt%). It can be produced by evaporating saltwater or by extracting underground salt mines. Before reaching the market, white table salt goes through a refining process to remove impurities and any other minerals besides sodium chloride. Sometimes, anti-caking agents are added to help absorb moisture, and iodine is included to prevent iodine deficiency in the population (which causes goiter).

 

Human beings have used salt to flavor and preserve food for thousands of years. Interestingly, sodium also plays an important role in several biological functions, including fluid balance, nerve conduction, and muscle contraction 



What is Himalayan pink salt?

The pink Himalayan salt is a salt extracted pink salmon color of mine salt Khewra, located near the Himalayas in Pakistan. The Khewra salt mine is one of the largest and oldest salt mines in the world.

 

The pink Himalayan salt harvested at this mine is believed to have been formed millions of years ago from the evaporation of ancient water bodies. It is extracted by hand, is minimally processed. It is not refined, it is free of additives and it is considered more natural than table salt. But as the salt table, the Himalayan salt is mostly sodium chloride.

 

However, the extraction process allows the pink Himalayan salt to retain other minerals and trace elements that are not found in common table salt . It is estimated that Himalayan salt can contain up to 84 different minerals and trace elements. In fact, it is these same minerals, especially iron, that give it its characteristic pink color.

 

How is Himalayan salt used?

The pink Himalayan salt has a number of dietary and non - dietary uses.

 

In general, you can cook with pink Himalayan salt, as you would with ordinary table salt. Put it in sauces and marinades or add it to your food at the dinner table.

 

Some people even use pink Himalayan salt as a cooking surface. Large blocks (boards) of salt can be purchased and used to grill, burn, and give a salty flavor to vegetables and other foods. The salt rose is also found in the form of fixtures. And it can be bought finely ground like ordinary table salt, but it is not uncommon to find thick varieties sold in larger crystal sizes, too, with coarse salt.

 

Considerations for cooking

Whenever you are measuring any type of salt by volume, it is important to consider the degree of grind. It may be necessary to use larger amounts of coarse salt to obtain the same salinity as finely ground salt. This is because the units of finely ground salt are closer to each other than the units of coarse salt, so there is more salt in a specific volume of refined salt than in the same volume of coarse salt.

 

A teaspoon of any type of finely ground salt can contain about 2,300 mg of sodium, while a teaspoon of coarse salt varies depending on the size of the crystal, but it can contain less than 2,000 mg of sodium.

 

In addition, Himalayan salt contains slightly less sodium chloride than ordinary table salt, which you may need to take into account when cooking.

 

A possible disadvantage of Himalayan salt compared to common salt is its carbon footprint. Have you thought about how much carbon is emitted in transporting salt from the Himalayas to Brazil?

 

However, a study has shown that rock salts, like pink salt, contain significantly less microplastic particles than sea ​​salt. Which could be an advantage. But studies have not yet been carried out to ascertain whether this characteristic has effective benefits for the human organism.

 

In addition, nutritionists say that the amount of Himalayan salt ingested daily should be limited to the same amount that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends for white salt: five grams per day.

 

Non-food uses

The Himalayan salt is used in some bath salts, which some people use in order to improve the conditions of the skin and soothe sore muscles.

 

Salt lamps are also often made with pink Himalayan salt and are used to remove pollutants from the air. These lamps consist of large blocks of salt with an internal light source that heats the salt.

 

n addition, time spent in human-made salt caves, formed from Himalayan pink salt, is popular with people looking to improve respiratory and skin problems. But scientific research on these topics is scarce.

 

Himalayan salt contains more minerals

The salt table and Himalayan salt consist mainly of sodium chloride, but the salt Himalayan have up to 84 other minerals include minerals and oligo-elements. Estes base like potassium and calcium as well as mineral lesser-known strontium and molybdenum.

 

One study looked at the mineral content of various types of salts, including pink Himalayan salt and common table salt. Below is a comparison of known minerals found in one gram of the two salts:



Content

Himalayan Salt

Table salt

Calcium (mg)

1.6

0.4

Potassium (mg)

2.8

0.9

Magnesium (mg)

1.06

0.0139

Iron (mg)

0.0369

0.0101

Sodium (mg)

368

381

As you can see, table salt may have more sodium, but the Himalayan salt contains more calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron (check out the study here ). In most cases, the extra minerals in the Himalayan salt are found in quantities so small that they are unlikely to provide many health benefits.

 

But does it have benefits?

Despite the fact that the Himalayan pink salt contains only small amounts of additional minerals, many people still claim that it can provide several health benefits.

The truth is that most of these claims have no research to support them.

 

Some statements about the benefits of Himalayan salt include:

  • Improving respiratory diseases
  • Balancing the body's pH
  • Reduce signs of aging
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Increase libido

 

Some of the claims related to the non-dietary uses of Himalayan pink salt may be loosely based on research. The use of salt cameras as a treatment for various lung diseases (halotherapy) has been evaluated in some studies. The results suggest that there may be some benefit, but, in general, more rigorous research is needed to investigate its effectiveness. (check the studies here: 1, 2, 3 ).

 

On the other hand, some of these health claims are, in fact, just normal functions of sodium chloride in the body, you can get these benefits with any type of salt. One study found that diets with a very little salt can contribute to sleep problems.

 

This suggests that an adequate amount of salt may be necessary for quality sleep. However, the study did not examine Himalayan salt specifically, which may mean that this effect is caused by sodium chloride.



In addition, Himalayan salt minerals are not present in quantities large enough to affect the body's pH balance. The lungs and kidneys regulate the body's pH without the help of Himalayan salt.

 

Blood sugar levels, aging, and libido are all mainly controlled by factors other than salt, and there are simply no scientific studies to suggest that eating Himalayan pink salt can benefit any of these aspects of health.

 

Likewise, there is no research comparing the health effects of Himalayan salt and common table salt. If research existed, it is unlikely to find differences in its health effects.