Although it is very poorly spoken, and more and more spices are being sought to replace it, salt is essential for health. This is because its minerals play important roles within the body, such as regulating the number of fluids inside and outside the cells, collaborating for the proper functioning of enzymes, helping with oxygen transport, and participating in the process of muscle contraction and heartbeat.
But, with so many benefits, why is salt seen as a villain? The big problem is related to excessive consumption, which can cause the body to retain more water and overload vital organs, such as the heart and kidneys. For salt to be an ally of health, it is important to use it sparingly and bet on healthier types, such as sea salt.
As well as refined, sea salt is also formed by sodium chloride and obtained from the evaporation of seawater. However, it does not go through the refinement process, which makes it retain minerals and nutrients and dispense with the addition of other chemical ingredients. Sea salt is marketed in its natural colour, which varies between pink, grey, black or white. Some popular types of sea salt are coarse salt and pink Himalayan salt.
Why is sea salt healthier than refined salt?
Sea salt is healthier for at least two reasons: it does not undergo refinement and contains less sodium. The refined salt goes through a long chemical process of heating and refinement that causes it to lose almost all its nutritional value and has to receive a series of additives, such as iodine. Iodine is a mineral necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones that will regulate the body’s functions; its deficiency can lead to goitre (enlargement of the thyroid glands, which can become a lump)
Since sea salt, as it does not go through this chemical process of refinement and overheating, maintains its nutrients and does not need to receive additives. In addition, sea salt contains less sodium than refined.
But don’t forget, regardless of whether it is refined or marine, excessive consumption of this substance can cause problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and kidney stones. For the use of sea salt to be beneficial, there must be no high intake.
Difference between sea salt and pink Himalayan salt?
Himalayan pink salt is also considered a type of sea salt, although it is not taken directly from the sea. As its name suggests, it is extracted from ancient deposits in the Himalayan mountain ranges. Since it does not undergo a chemical process, it maintains its original characteristics, including colour and nutrients (about 80 minerals).
Health benefits of sea salt?
If used sparingly, salt can be a great ally for the body. Find out when it is beneficial for your health:
• The whole process to make table salt refined and white eliminate much of its nutrients. However, even if they are in minimal amounts, sea salt still contains calcium, potassium, zinc, iron and iodine.
• The minerals present in sea salt are responsible for maintaining its colour and flavour. So it can be used in smaller quantities and yet it will add an extra flavour to foods.
• With a lower sodium content, sea salt ends up being a better option to maintain the electrolyte balance without overloading the kidneys.
• With moderate consumption, sea salt can be an ally in the prevention of diseases, since it promotes the alkalinization of body fluids and, thus, contributes to the hydro electrolytic balance and stabilizes the body pH.
How much should be consumed daily?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a maximum daily sodium consumption of five grams, which is equivalent to approximately one teaspoon. However, people over 50 and with a history of cardiovascular disease should consume up to half the amount.
And attention: It is still necessary to pay attention to the labels before consuming. This is because if the addition of preservatives, binders or bleaching agents is mentioned there, it is not a whole sea salt, and these advantages mentioned above may not correspond to this product.