Common salt, or sodium chloride, is the chemical compound NaCl. This mineral occurs naturally in many parts of the world as the mineral halite and as mixed evaporites in salty lakes, with seawater being its main source. Salt is used mainly for the formation of bones, but it is also a vital mineral that is used to treat many conditions, as well as being essential in the kitchen to preserve and prepare various dishes.

Historically, human nutrition did not contain added salt, but it was not until 6000 to 8000 years ago, when agriculture and animal husbandry developed, that salt began to be used to preserve food.

What are the benefits of sea salt and rock salt?

The mineral containing salt is crucial for the survival of man. The combination of sodium and chlorine helps balance the fluids in the brain and works with the nerves to control electrical impulses, among other things. Know all the benefits of salt.

Salt is used to lower blood pressure

There is a lot of scientific evidence showing that reducing your salt intake can lower your blood pressure.

Salt serves to hydrate cells

More specifically, it is the sodium in salt, which plays a crucial role in cell physiology. This component helps maintain and regulate the fluid that bathes the cells, participates in the general water balance and even allows the formation of neural messages. Therefore, the fluid in which cells are bathed contains 95% of the sodium in the body.

Salt strengthens the immune system

Studies suggest that sea salt has positive effects on the immune system, thanks to minerals like magnesium.

Sea salt for weight loss

Salt is known to promote a proper functioning of the digestive system, this effect favors the elimination of toxins and fats, which helps to lose weight and lose weight, whether consumed or used in the bathtub. In addition, salt promotes good cholesterol control.

Salt is used to improve sleep

Celtic salt or gray salt, specifically, helps balance electrolytes in the body and improves sleep. Compared to other salts, Celtic salt is generally richer in iron and less rich in sodium, which is especially good if you’re trying to limit your salt intake.

Characteristics of salt

Refined salt – Also known as table salt, it is the most common type of salt. It is characterized by its fine white texture due to the refinement process. In this process, the salt loses practically all its mineral content and additives are added to prevent small piles from forming.

Himalayan Pink Salt : This salt comes from the region of Pakistan and has a rocky texture and a very distinctive pink color. The color comes from the iron oxide in the mine from which the salt is harvested. However, the amounts are negligible and do not pose a health hazard. As it is a salt that is harvested and does not undergo any refining, it contains magnesium, calcium and potassium, making it perfect for seasoning salads and meats.

Celtic salt: or gray salt, it has a unique texture thanks to the presence of a small amount of water after the refining process. Like sea salt, it is collected after evaporation of the water, but it comes from a particular region of France. It is collected thanks to an ancient method that allows to maintain a good concentration of minerals and has a slightly gray color and a moist texture.

What is salt used for in the body?

Due to perspiration in particular, the body eliminates every day between 3 and 20 grams of salt that must be replaced. The presence of this mineral in the body ensures the balance of water and nutrients inside and outside the cells of the body. Therefore, there is a continuous absorption and rejection of water and salts through the cell membranes.

This mechanism depends on the concentration of salt outside the cells. If the salt concentration increases, the cells remove the water, which helps to rebalance the pressure. If the salt concentration decreases, the cells assimilate more water. It is this alternative game, called in specialized language osmosis, that allows many vital mineral salts and trace elements such as iodine to win over the cells of our body.

Regarding the regulation of water balance and salt (electrolyte) balance, it is essentially done by the kidneys. If salt intake is important, water binds to the body until the kidneys can remove it.

Where is salt extracted from?

There are two types of salt: sea salt and rock salt. Its extraction is from different sources, which in turn requires different tools and methods for its production.

Sea salt: sea salt is obtained by evaporation of sea water in natural ponds or artificial lakes known as salinas, and is harvested mechanically or by hand.

The production of sea salt or by evaporation of sea water in natural lagoons or artificial ponds, is a very old process. Marshes are generally found near the cities of civilized towns and in low-lying coastal areas. While the principle has remained the same for centuries, the salt evaporation and crystallization pool system has been constantly refined.

Today, in the great salt flats, the salt harvest, previously laboriously carried out by hand, is carried out by machines.

Rock Salt : Salt obtained by dry extraction is called rock salt. It is usually mined underground. In salt deserts, rock salt is collected at the surface.

Rock salt or halite was formed during evaporation from geological seas millions of years ago. These layers of salt have been covered with rocks and are now underground or in the heart of the mountains. In desert areas, there is also salt on the surface. The Hallstatt gemstone mine, operated by the Celts around 1000 BC, is among the most famous.

Rock salt extraction is currently the majority of the world’s salt production and comes from underground or open-pit mines, which are exploited with modern excavation techniques.

Salt applications

Sodium chloride is available in various sizes of particles or gradation.In this sense, many areas or sectors give different uses to the different types of salt crystals:

  • Discrete crystals can be seen in rock salt used for deicing.
  • Fine granules are typical of what is used for cooking.
  • Kosher salt, pickled salt, are slightly thicker and are used to put food through a preservation process.
  • Small compressed granules are used in water softeners.
  • The large blocks of salt are what are used as salt limpets for livestock.

How to consume sea salt?

The body is not used to high doses of salt. Therefore, it is estimated that 1.6 g of sodium per day, that is, 4 g of salt, is sufficient to avoid any deficiency at 97%. This amount can be distributed throughout the day at each meal.

Healing properties of salt

  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Immunological properties
  • Slimming properties
  • Relaxing properties
  • Analgesic properties
  • Digestive properties

Salt contraindications

Hypertensive : Excessive sodium intake increases the risk of developing hypertension. Therefore, people with high blood pressure, or pregnant women, should decrease their salt intake.

Brain and heart problems : Consuming high doses of salt can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Patients with fluid retention: Also known as edema, it occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the body, including the skin. This condition can be caused, among other things, by a high salt intake. Pregnant women should avoid consuming salt during pregnancy.

Conclusion on the use of salt

Consuming salt, like any other product or food, should be done with responsibility and prudence, especially in people with certain medical conditions. While it is true that the consumption of salt serves to improve certain aspects of health, it is also true that its excess can be very harmful, with unfortunate complications.

Samantha Robson
 | Website

Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *