One Taste of This Salt Alternative and You’ll Never Want to Go Back to Table Salt Again
If you’re still salting your food and cooking with regular table salt, there’s a good chance you think of salt as salt and nothing more. Once you experience some of today’s healthy alternatives to plain, ordinary table salt for both cooking and eating, you’re likely to gain a whole new perspective.
There’s one salt alternative in particular that I especially like for not only its taste but also what it does and doesn’t contain. Himalayan salt is a salt unlike any others, for flavor, purity, and nutritional value. It’s also a favorite salt alternative among professional chefs, whose expertise happens to be making foods taste their best.
What else makes Himalayan salt so unique as a healthy salt alternative?
Table Salt vs. Sea Salt vs. Himalayan Salt: What’s the Difference?
The main difference between regular table salt and other salt alternatives like sea salt and Himalayan salt is in their taste, texture, and the amount of processing used for each. Sometimes people assume that sea salt is the same thing as Himalayan salt. While they both are table salt alternatives, there’s a big difference between the two.
Although Himalayan salt may have started out as a sea salt, its similarity to sea salt ends there. While Himalayan salt comes from ancient sea salt beds found at high elevations in remote areas, sea salt is produced through the evaporation of water from either the ocean or from saltwater lakes.
Sea salt typically is less processed than table salt, but increasingly, that’s changing. Unprocessed sea salt can contain trace minerals, unlike heavily processed table salt that comes from underground salt deposits. The trace minerals in sea salt are what give it unique flavors and colors. Mineral-devoid table salt usually has iodine added to it and an anti-caking agent to make it free flowing.
A major concern of mine about sea salt is its source. Many of our waters, including our oceans, are polluted with harmful poisons like mercury, dioxin, PCBs, and plastic particles. That doesn’t even include the toxic petrochemicals that remain in the water after oil spills. Our oceans and saltwater lakes today aren’t the pristine bodies of water they may have been in the distant past.
When sea salt is evaporated or dried, the pollutants can become more concentrated and present an even greater potential threat to health. Unless the salt is refined and purified to remove the remains of pollutants, you’re likely to end up with a chemical-tainted product. Certainly not something you want to consume liberally or add to your food while cooking!
When sea salt is refined, as the majority of sea salts are today, its crystalline structure changes. Microscopically, what should be a harmonious, balanced structure becomes fragmented and isolated, with its valuable minerals severed from the salt crystals. This adversely affects the way your body absorbs and utilizes the minerals.
Himalayan Salt’s Uniqueness Is in Its Origin
Himalayan salt is an ancient sea salt from the Himalayan mountain range that extends through China, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Myanmar. This unique salt started out in lava-covered, crystallized sea salt beds over 200 million years ago.
Having spent many thousands of years “maturing” under extreme tectonic pressure, Himalayan salt has a perfect crystalline structure. Because it isn’t processed, its unique structure remains intact and in a harmonious state with its inherent mineral elements. Your body readily absorbs this type of nutrient-packed salt and can benefit from its potential benefits.
My Himalayan salt is hand-mined, washed by hand, and minimally processed. This is important from a bio-energetic perspective. Some believe Himalayan salt’s unique crystalline and cellular structure allow the salt crystals to store vibrational energy. If it isn’t hand-mined, and instead mined by harsh commercial mining methods, this bio-energy can be destroyed.
Covered by snow and ice for millions of years and produced in an area far from environmental pollutants, Himalayan salt doesn’t contain impurities like sea salt can. It contains 84 trace minerals and elements from our prehistoric seas, the same 84 minerals and elements that can be found in your body. Essential for the health of your bones, heart, cells, and tissues, these minerals exist in a colloidal form that makes it easier for your cells to assimilate.
Healthy Salt Alternatives for Healing and Well-Being: Dispelling the Myths
You may have heard over the years that salt isn’t healthy and that you should watch how much you consume. When it comes to table salt and other processed salts, I agree. They are best consumed in moderation and I don’t recommend filling your salt shaker with any processed salt.
So why is Himalayan salt different and why is it considered a healthy salt alternative?
Unlike table salt, Himalayan salt isn’t stripped of its healthy minerals, nor is it bleached or treated with chemicals. Chemically “cleaned” table salt is 97.5 percent sodium chloride and 2.5 percent chemicals such as flow agents, moisture absorbents, and iodine. Himalayan salt is only 84 percent sodium chloride with the remaining 16 percent consisting of important trace minerals that help the body process and utilize the sodium chloride.
When intake of sodium chloride becomes excessive, as what happens when you use refined table salt and eat processed food (that are laden with sodium chloride), your body tries to isolate it to neutralize and remove it. To accomplish this, water is drawn from your cells to surround and break up the sodium chloride into its separate ions.
For every gram of sodium chloride that your body cannot process, your body uses 23 times the amount of cell water to neutralize the salt. The resulting fluid imbalance in your cells is exactly why medical experts frown on excessive salt intake!
In contrast, Himalayan salt can be an asset to your health. Himalayan salt is, in my opinion, the tastiest and healthiest salt alternative you can find for eating and cooking. But the uses of Himalayan salt don’t stop there.
Beyond the Kitchen Salt Shaker: Salt Alternatives for Well-Being and Health
Throughout the years, Himalayan salt has been used for many health purposes, including topical applications:
- Nasal irrigation
Nasal irrigation, or the washing out of your nose with warm salt water once or twice daily, can be useful for plugged-up sinuses and nasal cavities. Many health experts recommend the practice for eliminating common irritants so the body can heal itself.
Nasal irrigation is useful for both symptom relief and as a preventative. Practitioners often use a neti pot, but a simple, inexpensive bulb syringe can get the job done too.
Using Himalayan salt to prepare your salt water for irrigation allows you to benefit from its many therapeutic properties.
- Salt rooms
Salt rooms, a concept that originated in Eastern Europe and now popping up around America, are small rooms that are covered, floor and wall, with blocks and tiles of Himalayan salt.
By sitting and relaxing in the room for 30 to 60 minutes, you pleasantly breathe in the salt-tinged air and potentially benefit from the many purported benefits of Himalayan salt.
- Himalayan Salt Baths
Your skin is your large largest organ, so what better way to absorb and potentially benefit from Himalayan salt’s many healthful qualities than to soak in a soothing, steaming tub of water with dissolved Himalayan salt?
Always use the purest salt you can find – Himalayan crystal bath salts are ideal. You need a lot to enjoy its benefits, about 2.6 pounds of salt for a filled 27- to 32-gallon, or 100- to 120-liter, tub. Equally important, or even more so, make sure you fill your tub only with clean, filtered water.
- Himalayan Salt Lamps
If you’re like most people, you’re surrounded by electromagnetic frequency waves generated by computers, appliances, and other electronics. Beautifully decorative Himalayan Salt Lamps can help you counteract the negative effects of EMFs and excessive positive ions in any space of your home and office.
Himalayan salt lamps also make the perfect nightlight with their soft, rosy glow.
Salt Alternatives for Cooking and Decorating
Want to wow your guests at your next dinner party? Nothing makes a bolder statement than to prepare and serve their meal on a beautiful slab of Himalayan salt!
You can cook raw foods on the slab directly over a heat source, or you can chill the slab for a couple of hours in advance and use it for a lovely presentation for cold foods such as vegetables, fruits, cheeses, meats, and chilled seafood.
To grill or sauté with your Himalayan Salt Kitchen Slab, simply preheat your slab over a grill or stove and toss on your favorite sliced raw meats, seafood, vegetables, or eggs. The Himalayan crystal salt sears your food to perfection, with just a light touch of heavenly salty flavor.
Complete the mood with a few Himalayan salt candles on your dining table, entry, and bathroom. Create the perfect ambience while you help clear the air of harmful electromagnetic pollution!