Table Salt versus Himalayan Salt
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Table Salt versus Himalayan Salt

Table Salt versus Himalayan Salt 

Are you familiar with Himalayan salt?  Some refer to it as pink salt due to its pink color.  Did you know that all salts are not created equal?  There is a big difference between regular table salt (Morton Iodized) and various sea salts.  Common table salt may actually be harmful to your body, whereas, sea salt is believed to promote health.


Salt happens to be essential for life.  You simply can't live without it.  It is equally important to take in good salts for your body to function properly.  The salts you should be taking in contain a mixture of all natural elements.  Processed table salt contains 97.5 percent sodium chloride, 2.5 percent moisture absorbing chemicals, and iodine.  During the processing of table salt, it is dried at a temperature over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.  Not surprising, this high heat alters the natural chemical structure.  The picture to the immediate left is common table salt. 


Salt that is healthy for you will contain many salts and be uncontaminated with toxins or pollutants and do so naturally.  That's where Himalayan salt comes in.  It is actually purer than sea salt.  Himalayan crystal salt comes from deep within the Himalayan mountains.  This salt is actually more than 250 million years old.  Essentially, this is a marine fossil salt, that is 100 percent natural, unrefined, and unpolluted.  This salt contains all the natural elements that are found in your body (all 84) which are all the elements that were a part of the primordial soup in the beginning.  This salt has a sublime flavor with a crunchy texture that can be used raw and cooked. 

What does Salt do?

·Salt regulates water content in the body and brain and blood pressure.  In particular sodium chloride and potassium chloride.

·It helps to maintain pH balance by binding with hydroxyl groups (OH) in solution.

·Promotes healthy blood-sugar levels.

·Various salts are important for bone strength including calcium.

·Necessary for muscle contraction in particular calcium.

·Promotes nutrient absorption in the intestine.

            Many salt ions are cofactors that activate enzymes. 

            These include magnesium, manganese,iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, and molybdenum.

·Salts promote transport of substrates across all cell membranes.

·Salts maintain membrane potentials important for cell function.  Minerals involved include sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Certainly, common table salt does not contain all the salts you need.  The sodium chloride in table salt has been chemically cleaned and in an unnatural form your body doesn't recognize.  Consider that fact that table salt has been added to most processed foods you eat and then you add more table salt to the mix.  This is particularly true of canned soups and stews.  Many canned items contain added table salt.  Hams, bacon, and jerky products are loaded with table salt.  Surveys indicate that 90 percent of our food budget goes to buying processed foods.  The medical community is well aware of this and is suggesting that manufactures use various sea salts in place of common table salt.  The nice thing is that less sea salt can be used to produce the same amount of salty flavor.  And, the matter of fact is it just tastes better.     

Table Salt vs Himalayan Salt Chemistry

Common table salt is referred to as inorganic sodium chloride.  It can't maintain water balance in the body as well as sea salts.  Common table salt crystals are hard, dry, and isolated from each other.  Your body has difficulty processing this.  Water molecules surround salt crystals and try to dissolve them.  This separates them into sodium and chloride ions.  These large, hard crystals are difficult to solubilize.  The salt is also present in excess amount due to its large crystal size.  All of this contributes to water being pulled out of your cells causing cell dehydration.  Sea salts are in colloidal form, easily dissolve and absorb in the body, and they contain all salts known to exist not just sodium chloride.

Taking in too much salt and the wrong kind of salt has a number of consequences.  Consider taking in one serving of table salt (1 tsp, 1gm).  Your body uses 23 times that amount of cell water to dissolve the salt.  Think about having 3 meals a day plus salty snacks compounded daily.  Many people are taking in somewhere between 4 to 6 grams a day.  Excessive salt contributes to the formation of cellulite, arthritis, gout, hypertension, kidney and bladder stones.

Common table salt contains sodium chloride, calcium silicate, dextrose, and potassium iodide.  Calcium silicate is used as an anti-caking agent.  This keeps the salt flowing in humid conditions but if there's too much moisture in the air it will clump.  Dextrose is used to stabilize the iodide. 

Potassium iodide happens to be one of two forms of iodine that the FDA allows in table salt.  Animal feed is generally fortified with potassium iodate.  This is also true of food salt outside the U.S. because of its stability.  The U.S. doesn't allow potassium iodate in food salt for some reason.  Being unstable, potassium iodide is easily oxidized to iodine and lost by volatilization (evaporation) from the salt.  Dextrose is added to prevent iodide from being oxidized and escaping as a purple-pink gas.  Iodine is added to the salt to prevent goiter.  The thyroid requires iodine to make the hormone thyroxine.  Deficiency in iodine causes the thyroid to enlarge in the neck.  Goiter symptoms may include neck tenderness, pressure on the windpipe and esophagus accompanied with shortness of breath and choking, coughing, and hoarseness.  See the picture of the young girl above.    

Himalayan Salt

Himalayan salt's colloidal nature allows each salt molecule to be inter-connected through molecular vibrations.  This salt is said to be the purest salt available essentially uncontaminated with any toxins or pollutants.  Quite often this salt has been hand mined and washed in an environment that is pristine.  Himalayan salt is over 250 million years old that has been exposed to high tectonic pressure surrounded by ice and snow high in the mountains.  When observed under a microscope, this salt has a perfect crystalline structure.

It is believed to be of the highest grade.  This salt has an unlimited shelf life and doesn't require any pouring agents.The renowned Frezenius Institute in Europe analyzed the Himalayan Crystal Salt.  The research analysis confirmed the holistic properties of the original Himalayan crystal salt. The sodium chloride content is 97.41% and meets the worldwide necessary standards for table salt.  For a list of the salt elements, go to http://www.saltnews.com/chemical-analysis-natural-himalayan-pink-salt/.

Some sea salts are referred to as organic salts.  Clearly, salt is a mineral and not a plant/animal so it can't be organic.  Nevertheless, there are sea salts that are certified as organic salts.  This means that the salt has been collected from protected, pollution-free environments, and unrefined.  For that reason, the pink Himalayan salt is called an organic salt.

Suggested Reading:

http://www.healingnaturallybybee.com/articles/salt6.php

http://www.madehow.com/Volume-2/Salt.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticaking_agent

http://www.mortonsalt.com/faqs/food-salt-faqs

http://www.saltnews.com/chemical-analysis-natural-himalayan-pink-salt/

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