Salt is essential to the life of all animals on our planet. When you explore the differences of salt you can make a healthier decision. If your following a diet, trying to lose weight, reduce water retention, its necessary to be fully aware of what your putting into your body. Salt is an essential nutrient. Interestingly, our blood contains the same salty solution as that of the primal sea, a fluid consisting of water and salt.

Different salts can make a difference in your system. They are more then just a seasoning.

Table salt is sodium chloride (NaCI), one of the essential macrominerals needed for life. When you buy common table salt your getting a little more than sodium. It is a mass produced product that is mined on a huge scale. The quality of the salt doesn’t matter because after the raw salt is mined it is refined. The term “refining” means to remove certain coarsenesses or impurities by a purification process. Everything is removed including all other minerals. When this process is complete you have pure sodium chloride.

Now that they have pure salt, potassium iodide is added. This is a source of iodine. Iodine is an important mineral for health. Thus your iodized table salt in the blue cardboard cylinder.
Now that they’ve added the potassium iodide it needs to be protected so it doesn’t break down into iodine and evaporate before it’s ingested. A stabilizer is added in the form of glucose (Sugar), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), sodium carbonate or sodium thiosulfate.

None of us like clumping salt so an anti-caking agent is added. Depending on the brand it could be calcium silicate, ferric ammonium citrate, silicon dioxide, sodium ferrocyanide, magnesium silicate, magnesium carbonate, propylene glycol (automobile antifreeze), aluminum calcium silicate, sodium aluminosilicate (also called sodium silicoaluminate), and/or calcium phosphate.
Now it’s ready to be used for flavoring for your food.

Sea salt is produced through the evaporation of sea water with very little processing.
You should be aware though, that more and more refined and iodized sea salts are coming on the market so if you want natural sea salt look for unrefined on the label.

Most basic, untreated sea salt has the natural mineral composition as follows:

Chloride (Cl-) 55.03%, Sodium (Na+) 30.59%, Sulfate (SO42-) 7.68%, Magnesium (Mg2+) 3.68%, Calcium (Ca2+) 1.18%, Potassium (K+) 1.11%, Bicarbonate (HCO3-) 0.41%, Bromide (Br-) 0.19%, Borate (BO33-) 0.08%, Strontium (Sr2+) 0.04%. Everything else 0.01%
The mineral content in sea salt gives it a different taste and color than table salt. Depending on the region it came from salts vary greatly in color and mineral content. Remember there is NO mineral content in table salt!

Here’s a brief look at few salts from specific regions:

CELTIC SALT OR GREY SALT – This salt is hand harvested in France usually by a traditional Celtic method. It is grey or light purple in color because of the clay areas it comes from. It has a very rich mineral content.

BLACK SALT – Black salt is mined in the volcanic regions of India and Pakistan. It is called kala namak or sanchal in Hindi. This salt is high in sulfur (which gives it a strong flavor) and iron. Ayuvedic medicine uses this salt for its many therapeutic benefits. It is said to be great for gas and heartburn.

HIMALAYAN PINK SALT- This salt is mined from deep in the Himalayan Mountains where a primordial sea was evaporated by the sun, leaving absolutely pristine crystalline salt. It is said to have 84 minerals essential to health.

HAWAIIAN SEA SALT OR ALAEA – Alaea is the traditional Hawaiian sea salt used to season and preserve. Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt is non-processed and rich in trace minerals, all of which are found in sea water. A small amount of harvested reddish Hawaiian clay (‘Alae) enriches the salt with Iron-Oxide.

Salt is an essential nutrient. Interestingly, our blood contains the same salty solution as that of the primal sea, a fluid consisting of water and salt.

In addition to restoring and balancing the body’s electrolytes, sea salt also helps to increase energy, restore the body’s ph balance, and increases the immune system. It is also said that unrefined sea salt can improve respiratory, circulatory, organ, connectivity tissue and nervous system functions. The mineral content also assists in the absorption of nutrients.

Sea salt is not only beneficial as a food. The rich mineral content can be absorbed through the skin and makes a wonderful therapeutic bath which can treat conditions ranging from psoriasis to rheumatoid arthritis.

About Greg Burkett

Fitness CounselorPersonal Trainer/MasseurMultiple Certifications