Types of salt and their health effects
From an early age we discover the importance of salt and not only as an ingredient in food preparation. Salt is made up of a mineral mixture of sodium and chlorine and plays an essential role in a person's daily alimentation. Salt is an inexhaustible natural mineral that is extracted from the sea or from salt mines around the world.
Although it is recommended not to over-salt, this mineral remains an indispensable ingredient for the proper functioning of the human body, as it ensures a balance of fluids in the brain, helps cells absorb nutrients and ensures the transport of electrical impulses to nerves and muscles.
What are the best known benefits of salt?Salt has countless benefits when consumed in the recommended amounts such as:
- Helps regulate blood pressure - salt contributes to the efficiency of nerve transmission and muscle contraction. Also, when you suffer from bloating, constipation or lack of appetite, you can add a little salt to the glass of water;
- In the case of joint diseases, hot baths with salt water give results, having a beneficial effect on rheumatism and relieving diseases specific to the cold season, such as colds, flu or colds. Salt relieves the symptoms of cystitis and annexitis if you take a sitting bath with salt water. You can combine five tablespoons of coarse salt to a liter of water;
- Saline air is beneficial for health, so sea and ocne cures are recommended in the treatment of conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis, repeated respiratory infections, pulmonary emphysema, chronic sinusitis and hypothyroidism. When it comes to saline belts, they are contraindicated for diseases such as hyperthyroidism, severe hypertension, angina pectoris with frequent crisis, pulmonary tuberculosis, claustrophobia, epilepsy, lung cancer and recent heart attack.
Lack of salt in the body can be felt by several symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, memory disorders, intense and prolonged fatigue, to which is added physical weakness and difficulty concentrating.
How many types of salt are there and what are their benefits?
In stores and hypermarkets, salt is found in countless shapes, textures and colors, but also in different ways of use. The types of salt found in nature are innumerable, and their classification is made according to several important criteria: source or mode of extraction (mine salt and sea salt), degree of refining (coarse salt and extra-fine salt), substances in the composition (sodium chloride, iodine or other substances and minerals) and of course, by geographical area of origin.
Depending on the substances in the composition, different types of salt may differ in taste and color. Differences in color can be seen with the naked eye and those of taste are more difficult to notice, especially when the salt is fine.
Iodized table salt
Probably the most well-known and common, this is the ingredient that fills the salt shaker in the kitchen. Iodized salt was born after refining, so many of the active substances disappeared. The reason why table salt is also known as iodine is because it is fortified with mineral iodine, an essential mineral for fighting certain iodine-related diseases, such as hypothyroidism.Meal salt has the following benefits:
- Relieves sore throat - if you mix half a teaspoon of salt with 200 ml of water and gargle, then painful sore throat will be relieved;
- Clean and whiten teeth - mix 1/3 of salt with 2/3 of baking soda and apply the mixture with a toothbrush or even with your finger. The teeth will turn a natural white, the plaque will be removed and the gums will remain healthy;
- Mouthwash - mix equal parts of salt and water and rinse your mouth after brushing. This mixture refreshes the breath and destroys the bacteria that cause bad breath;
- Salt softens bags under the eyes - mix about 25 grams of salt in 500 ml of water and apply compresses of this mixture on the eyes to reduce the effect of tired eyes and dark circles;
- Salt is a very good remedy against tired feet, so if you keep your feet in the water in which you dissolved a handful of coarse salt and sit for a few minutes, you will feel your feet lighter.
This type of salt arises from the evaporation of seawater, the whole process being more expensive than the one that involves extracting salt from the mine. Sea salt is found in the form of large crystals and is obtained from many places in the world. Sea salt is rich in iron and helps balance electrolytes and helps a restful sleep.Sea salt has countless benefits, including:
- Strengthens the immune system - the nutrients in the salt produce antibodies that help the immune system;
- Alkalizes the body;
- Fights asthma - salt has an anti-inflammatory and calming effect, being a natural solution against respiratory irritations;
- Maintains cardiovascular health - salt maintains control over cholesterol levels and blood pressure;
- Relieves muscle pain - sea salt is rich in potassium and magnesium, essential minerals for muscles to function perfectly.
Himalayan pink salt
Himalayan salt is obtained from the foothills of the Himalayas and attracts attention due to its rich color, but also due to the rocky texture. The pink color of this type of salt comes from traces of iron oxide and due to the fact that it is harvested by hand, it also contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium. Himalayan pink salt is widely used in the kitchen, but also in the manufacture of salt lamps, which purify and ionize the air.Himalayan salt has countless benefits, including:
- Antihistamine effect - this type of salt relieves problems that occur in the sinuses;
- Moisturizing effect - prevents water retention in the body;
- Mineralizing effect;
- Strengthens the bone system;
- Helps regulate blood sugar levels;
- Ensures the proper functioning of the thyroid gland;
- Normalizes blood pressure.
Kosher salt is extracted from seawater or mine and is not refined. It has a larger grain size than the table salt and the name comes from Jewish cuisine. Kosher salt is twice as salty as table salt, which increases the temperature of the water in which pasta or vegetables are boiled, practically reducing cooking time. Like iodized table salt, Kosher salt is one of the most widely used in cuisines around the world.
It may not be as well known as others, but it certainly brings countless benefits. Also known as Kala Namak, black salt is extracted from volcanic regions in Pakistan and India. Black salt has a stinging smell due to its sulfur content and a solid brown-pink color. In the ground state, this type of salt turns pink and in water it turns black. Kala Namak salt contains over 84 active substances, which is why it is used in detoxification cures, being considered a source of health in India.Black salt or Kala Namak has countless benefits:
- Fights bloating, constipation and relieves stomach irritation;
- Black salt treats joint diseases, but also relieves muscle pain;
- Stimulates weight loss, due to the effect on enzymes in the digestive tract;
- Relieves respiratory problems, such as nasal congestion, sinusitis, allergies or even asthma;
- Relieves gastroesophageal burns;
- It acts as a laxative, especially if mixed with a little lemon juice and ginger;
- Maintains blood cholesterol levels, prevents osteoporosis, relieves muscle spasms and cramps, prevents depression and keeps diabetes under control.
Nigari salt (magnesium chloride)
Nigari salt or Magnesium Chloride is a magnesium salt with many health and beauty benefits. Magnesium chloride (a compound made up of hydrochloric acid and magnesium) is assimilated much more easily by the human body. The benefits of magnesium chloride are:
- blood purifier;
- protects the kidneys from acid accumulation;
- reduces magnesium deficiency;
- is easily assimilated by the body;
- strengthens the bone system, reducing the risk of osteoporosis;
- provides support to the nervous system;
- detoxifies the body;
- is an anti-stress and antidepressant remedy;
- supports physical activity;
- protects the cardiovascular system;
- regulates blood pressure;
- cleans the arteries and prevents atherosclerosis;
- prevents the formation of hemorrhoids;
- balances the hormonal system;
- strengthens immunity;
- prevents the formation of cancerous tumors;
- fights against the formation of free radicals.
Lemon salt is also popularly known as citric acid and is most often used in the preparation of certain foods or in cleaning surfaces, being used as an additive. Thus, it is found in processed foods and commercial juices where it appears on the label as E 330. Lemon salt has the power to balance the pH level, being a very good antioxidant and helping to regenerate the skin.Lemon salt has countless benefits as well
- Reduces inflammation in the body;
- Helps the optimal absorption of water and food from the body;
- Balances the body's pH;
- Supports the body's immunity;
- Detoxifies the body's cells;
- Cleanses the skin and adds fresh glow to the skin.
Salt, consumed in moderate amounts, is recommended to all people, due to the many health benefits it offers. Beware of excess, as it can have serious health effects.
The benefits of salt consumption
- Helps adjust blood pressure;
- Streamline nerve transmission;
- Treats bloating, constipation and loss of appetite;
- Relieves joint pain, relieving rheumatism;
- Relieves cold, flu or catarrh;
- Saline air treats diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis, repeated respiratory infections, pulmonary emphysema etc.
Adverse effects of excessive salt intake:
- Heart insufficiency;
- Kidney disease and kidney stones;
- Gastric cancer;
- Left ventricular hypertrophy;
Contraindications to salt consumption:
Salt has many benefits and advantages, but if consumed in excess, it can lead to kidney disease and high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure should reduce their salt intake as directed by their doctors. The elimination of salt from the body is done with the help of calcium. At people with calcium deficiency, the body takes calcium from the bones, a process that can lead to osteoporosis, in addition to the effects of hypocalcemia.
Iodized salt and non-iodized salt
Iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, it is often obtained from algae, fish, dairy and eggs. Most often, a normal person cannot provide the necessary amount of iodine, this leads to a condition popularly called endemic goiter. However, iodizing salt can also have negative effects. Iodine can cause hyperthyroidism at people with pre-existing thyroid problems.As we know very well, the consumption of iodized salt has negative effects on the body, the worst of which are:
- Thyroid dysfunction in sensitive people;
- Overuse of the kidneys and other internal organs;
- Weakening of the immune system;
- Slowing down of metabolic processes and the appearance of obesity;
- Thyroid cancer, especially papillary cancer;
- Sleep disorders, hypertension, nervousness and anxiety;
- Warmth sensations.
All these can be avoided if salt is consumed in moderate amounts.
There are countless types of salt, with specific tastes and special colors. However, regardless of the type of salt we use, it is important to know the methods of using salt and it is important to know the composition of the products we buy. Salt is a preservative and basic spice in food, being used in the canning industry, in tanning, in the chemical industry. Let's not forget that the assimilation of a large amount of salt in the body can lead to serious health problems, so everything should be consumed with moderation.