Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: Why Add A Pinch?
Salt might be the last thing you want in an open wound but it’s essential for your survival. It regulates blood volume, sends nerve impulses, and t...
Salt might be the last thing you want in an open wound but it’s essential for your survival. It regulates blood volume, sends nerve impulses, and transports nutrients, allowing your muscles to contract and relax. Humans are the only primates with saltwater tears and when we cry the liquid contains the same salinity as the sea.
Salt runs through our veins, oceans, and history. The etymology of the English word ‘salary’ actually goes back to the Latin word ‘sal’, meaning ‘salt’ and the voyages of Christopher Columbus were financed from salt production in southern Spain.
Salt was also at the center of India’s fight for independence. For almost 200 years Great Britain ruled India and citizens were forced to purchase salt from their rulers who had a monopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt. On March 12, 1930, in an act of civil disobedience, Gandhi led the historic Salt March and set out to trek 240 miles to the Arabian Sea to collect his own salt. Nearly 60,000 Indians were arrested, including Gandhi, but in 1947, after years of activism, India finally won its independence.
Before we had refrigerators, salt was used as a preservative. Egyptians were the first to learn that sodium draws the bacteria-friendly moisture out of foods, drying them and making it possible to preserve food for extended periods of time.
Egyptians even used salt to preserve mummies. In addition to being a preservative, our ancestors used salt to mask the stench of otherwise inedible food—the same strategy McDonald's uses today!
For years, people were told to avoid salt for health reasons, but in recent years that idea has been turned on its head. In James DiNicolantonio’s book The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong — And How Eating More Might Save Your Life, DiNicolantonio slashes through the conventional belief that low sodium is good for you and shows that low-sodium diets can spike bad cholesterol levels and impair our sugar metabolism. In 2016, in the largest study of its kind, researchers looked at sodium intake and blood pressure data in over 130,000 individuals from 49 countries with varying degrees of salt consumption. The authors found that populations with low sodium in their diets seemed to have the highest risk of cardiovascular disease and death.
Pink Himalayan salt is chemically similar to table salt, containing mostly sodium chloride, however there are a few key differences. Table salt is usually heavily refined and mixed with anti-caking agents to prevent clumping. Himalayan salt does not usually contain such additives. It also contains trace minerals, such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium which give it a distinct taste and light pink tint. Himalayan salt is extracted from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, one of the largest and oldest salt mines in the world, located 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan Mountain range. For thousands of years the salt was under intense pressure from the earth which is said to make it extremely pure. Luis Buñuel once said “sex without sin is like an egg without salt.” But as with sin, choose your salt carefully.