Our recent post, “Foods to Avoid”, June 5, 2013 here, has raised some questions which we’ll answer today and in ongoing posts.
Q. I always avoid canola oil and artificial sweeteners when possible. You recommend sea salt – does that include Himalayan pink sea salt?
A. We should be aware of processing methods and added ingredients in all our foods to make the most informed choices. Processed table salt with added iodine is different from sea salt, though both contain sodium.
Salt, also known as table salt or rock salt (halite), is a crystalline mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl). Sodium is necessary for normal body function. It is important in our bodies as an electrolyte – a mineral in our blood that carries an electric charge and affects water content in our body, acid/alkaline balance (pH), muscle function, etc.
About ‘Himalayan pink sea salt’: It is our understanding this is a trade name for a particular type of salt found in the Himalayan mountain region. Consumers should be aware that all products are not of the same quality – we recommend reading labels. Factors affecting the quality of the salt include mining and processing methods. Consider the source of any product, whether it has extra ingredients added, how it is processed, packaged and so on.
Health benefits are claimed due to its source – ancient sea salt deposits that contain trace minerals. The reddish or pink color is due to its high mineral content, specifically its iron content.
1.Cooking and seasoning foods: food-grade quality should be purchased, use in moderation. (Alternatives to salt that provide extra flavor and health benefits to our foods are herbs and spices.)
2. Salt baths have been used for centuries for their relaxation and healing properties. The content of trace minerals are promoted as healthful. Because we absorb all ingredients through our skin, especially in warm water, look for a pure product without added perfumes or other artificial ingredients.
Note: Egyptian Fragrance oils can be added to the bath for relaxation and other beneficial qualities specific to each oil.