We’ve all been made to memorize NACI in school and have heard about it on the news, but what really is the deal with salt?
Talked and debated about nearly as much as sugar and fat, salt has a way of stirring up some drama in the health world. In one breath we are told that it’s one of the worst substances to put in your body, next we are told that we need a minimum amount in order for our body to properly function. We are told that iodine salt is the worst of it’s kind, yet sea salt has magic/voodoo abilities.
Remember when sea salt was the Kale of 2011? Everything contained sea salt. Even items that didn’t really have salt in them to begin had sea salt added to them. Salty green tea latte, anyone?
But with all the debates and talk about salt, one thing seems to get pushed aside and that is the different kinds of salts available. While one salt may spike that blood pressure, another may (sort of, kind of, hopefully, let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best) level it out. While one may make you retain water, another may help you flush it out. There’s more to salt than just table and sea, so let’s check some out.
When it comes to the health benefits of Celtic salt, it all lies with the method in which it’s harvested. Collected from the sea along the coast of Brittany, France, this moist salt is never touched by metal. Instead, using traditional Celtic methods, collectors harvest the salt with wooden rakes. Since the salt never touches metal, it still contains all of the 84 beneficial elements found in sea water. With these 84 elements, the body can get to work repairing any internal damages. Think of this salt as the band-aid of minerals.
In terms of talks and debates about its popularity, this salt ranks only second to sea salt. Known for its pretty pink color – which is created due to concentrated iron oxide – pink Himalayan salt has been boasted as one of the healthiest, if not the healthiest, of the salt community. Everyone from doctors to YouTube ‘health gurus’ are loving the pink stuff. And what’s not to like? Increase hydration, strengthen bones, improve circulation, prevent goiters, aid in metabolism, and lower blood pressure just some to name a few.
If there was ever a salt that reminds you of Game of Thrones, this is it. Maldon salt is collected from the Blackwaters of Essex, off the coast of a little town which still has dirt roads, shutter roofs, and ancient castles. However, it’s not the waters it comes from that makes Maldon salt unique to other salts. That would be the texture of the salt. Unlike other salts that are crystallized, Maldon salt has the consistency of flakes. Also, unlike other salts is its taste, which many claim barely has any saltiness at all, but rather an element of fresh earthiness.
Commonly known as rock salt, Halite salt is perhaps one of the most beautiful salt (Cause, you know, we need our salts to be beautiful…). Rather than just white, Halite salt comes in a wide arrange of colors, such as pink, blue, red, yellow, orange, and purple. It even comes in clear, giving it the appearance of a diamond. But this salt is more than just a pretty face, it contains a wide variety of health benefits. Containing 84 of the 92 elements that are required for a person to live, halite salt can also be found in health stores in the form of liquid extracts and powdered supplements. Other benefits of this salt are digestion aid, weight loss, flu aid, respiratory healing, and prevent muscle cramps.
Fleur de Sel
This salt got more to it than just a pretty name, which translates into Flower of Salt. Found in the coastal pods of France, this salt is seen as a special occasion kind of salt. It’s packed full of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and over a dozen other minerals. Due to its subtle saltiness, Fleur de Sel is great for sprinkling a pinch onto fresh fruits and vegetables. *Note: Fleur de Sel should never be used to season food during cooking. Due to its chemical makeup, the compounds break down in heat.