Himalayan salt has a special position among the different types of salt. What is so special about it?
Himalayan salt is offered in the form of salt lamps, in cosmetic products, dietary supplements, and alternative medicines.
The salt is said to serve various purposes and to help with many ailments. What is the secret of Himalayan salt ?
Why is Himalayan salt pink?
Himalayan salt with its pink appearance is one of the so-called “gourmet salts” or special salts.
Due to its characteristic pink color, it is quite easy to spot and makes it an attractive appearance. But why is Himalayan salt so pink?
In principle and strictly speaking, the pink color of Himalayan salt is caused by contamination of the salt caused by iron oxide (in principle nothing more than rust).
Himalayan salt, like sea or rock salt, apart from this pink-colored impurity, consists almost exclusively of sodium chloride and is mainly mined in Pakistan.
Sometimes you can find Himalayan salt under the name “Alexander salt “ because, according to legend, the horses of Alexander the Great were seen there licking salt and the salt deposit was discovered.
Today the Hilamaya salt no longer comes to us by horse and leaves a deep CO2 footprint before it ends up as a salt lamp in the living room or in the salt shaker in the kitchen. Does it make sense to use the well-traveled pink salt?
Is Himalayan Salt Healthier?
Basically, every table salt, no matter what color it is and where it comes from, was nothing else than sea water before it was created.
If the water evaporates, the salt dissolved in the sea water remains, which is chemically sodium chloride.
From a chemical point of view, even expensive, well-traveled or well-marketed special salt is nothing more than sodium chloride with one or the other impurity, which then gives it a characteristic color, taste or smell.
Of course, due to the pollution described above, Himalayan salt also contains some iron.
However, this is very small in proportion and makes up one to three percent.
In terms of the daily amount of salt, any special salt does not contribute to providing us with additional, health-positive substances in any way.
Himalayan salt looks beautiful. And that’s exactly how we should look at it.
Does salt harm us?
A low-salt diet is often recommended, completely healthy people suddenly stop using salt and buy special products or so-called “diet salt” because they hope for positive effects on their health.
To demonize salt is too easy and can also be dangerous. Because nothing works in our body without salt!
- Salt regulates the water balance,
- is important for building and maintaining our bone mass,
- regulates the nervous system and
- digestion too.
Too much salt, however, damages the kidneys and can cause high blood pressure, but our body is able, up to a certain amount, to excrete excessively consumed salt without harm and to regulate this itself.
Too little salt is also bad, so elderly people in particular shouldn’t forget to consume enough salt!
Those who consume too little salt gradually lose the feeling of thirst and literally dry out.
However, to prevent high blood pressure and kidney damage, you should actually not consume too much salt over the long term.
It’s actually very easy if you do without industrially processed products and cook, bake or produce a lot yourself. This not only ensures a healthy consumption of salt, but is also beneficial to your health in other ways!
How Much Salt is Too Much?
The World Health Organization recommends a maximum of 5g salt per day. This amount is equivalent to a small teaspoon full of salt.
That looks like a pretty large amount at first, but this maximum recommended daily amount also includes all salts that are already contained in our daily foods.
Pretty much all food that you do not prepare yourself from individual ingredients contains salt : bread, sausage, cheese, baked goods …
So it is not easy to keep track of the daily consumption of salt. So it happens that the average German woman consumes 8.4g of salt per day, the average German man a whopping 10g. That is exactly double the recommended amount!
It doesn’t matter whether the salt is Himalayan salt or other types of salt marketed as “healthy”.