Himalayan Sea Salt

Himalayan Crystal SaltWe frequently hear about the negative aspects of salt in our diet. The salt in question is refined table salt – a mixture of sodium and chloride, which is known to have adverse effects on kidneys, blood pressure and general heart health in particular, especially when used in excess.

So why are we recommending taking any salt at all?

The answer is not straightforward, but there is a world of difference between commercial table salt and genuine Himalayan Sea Salt.

Apart from sodium and chloride, commercial table salt is completely stripped of its minerals, before being bleached, chemically cleaned and finally heated at extremely high temperatures. The iodine added to table salt is usually synthetic, which is difficult for our bodies to absorb properly.

The salt is then treated with anti-caking agents, which prevent the salt from dissolving in water and forming lumps in the storage container. The anti-caking agents unfortunately prevent the salt from being absorbed properly by our bodies, which can lead to deposits building up within the organs.

Studies have shown that for each gram of table salt consumed that the body cannot process, your body will use 23 times  the amount of water from your cells to dilute the sodium chloride present in this chemically treated salt.

Apart from adding this commercial salt to our food via the salt shaker, it’s also present in extremely large quantities in most processed foods.

But it’s not salt that’s bad for us – it’s processed and refined table salt that’s the problem. When we add the natural Himalayan sea salt to our diet, or increase salt naturally via naturally salty foods (e.g. celery) we see the benefits.

The Himalayan mountain range, under which the pink sea salt has been found, covers a huge area, from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan. It’s said to have been there for about 250 million years, covered with deep layers of pristine snow and ice which has protected it from modern day pollution (whilst modern day pollution of land, sea and air has contaminated our oceans and hence the sea salt).

Whilst commercial table salt contains only sodium and chloride, alongside perhaps synthetic iodine, Himalayan salt contains the same 84 trace minerals and elements that are found in the human body, a few of which include sodium, chloride, sulphate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. When consuming this salt, you are actually getting less sodium intake per serving than regular table salt because it is less refined and therefore still contains all the other important minerals.

Himalayan Crystal Salt

Himalayan Crystal Salt

We get our electrolytes from various foods and drinks, and lose them again mainly through exercise, sweating, and urine. Diarrhoea and vomiting can also lead to excessive electrolyte losses and can be especially dangerous for babies and the elderly.

According to Dr Cousens, a vegan diet tends to cause the body to wash out chlorine (the natural chlorine found in plant foods and required by the body, not the harmful form found in tap water and swimming pools). He says we can utilise the chlorine and sodium salts contained in Himalayan salt.

Sodium concentrates in the fluid outside of each of your cells. Potassium concentrates on the inside of the cell helping the cell to hold water. There is a delicate balance between sodium on the outside of the cell and potassium on the inside of the cell. Two other electrolytes, calcium and magnesium, are also responsible for transport of nutrients across the cell wall.

When we eat excessive refined salt, sodium levels rise, as potassium, magnesium and calcium fall. The excess sodium on the outside of the cell pulls water out of the cell, along with potassium, calcium and magnesium. This can cause a severe state of cellular dehydration that cannot be remedied by drinking water. The only remedy for this is to restore the mineral balance. We can achieve this by discontinuing the use of refined salt and salty processed foods and increasing the amount of natural unrefined mineral salts, such as Himalayan sea salt, along with a diet rich in these minerals (potassium, calcium and magnesium).

Try to include foods such as green leafy vegetables, bananas, avocados, yoghurt, mushrooms and beans to counteract excess refined salt.

We need only a small amount of salt every day. Excess salt of any type is processed by the kidneys and excreted through the bladder, but there’s only so much salt the kidneys can process each day. Therefore, whilst a little salt each day is vital to our health, too much can be detrimental. Use your thirst mechanism as a guide, and remember that the more processed foods you eat, the more commercial table salt you will be ingesting. Exchange processed foods for freshly prepared foods, and add a little Himalayan salt for its beneficial mineral content, together with some healing herbs for added flavour. Additionally adding freshly ground black pepper (for its piperine content) will further enhance not only flavour but also absorption and utilisation of nutrients from the food.

The AquaSource Himalayan salt is extracted manually from deep within the Himalayan mountains, naturally protected from pollution and toxins. AquaSource Himalayan salt is of the highest quality – hand-mined, hand-washed and sun-dried, and 100% pure. Not all ‘pink’ salt is genuine top quality but as always AquaSource takes great care to obtain the best. The Himalayan Crystal Salt contains 84 different minerals.