Himalayan Salt | Pink | Origin | Iodine | Table Salt | Sea Salt | Use | Benefits | Lamp | Bath | Fasting | Keto | Side Effects | Conclusion | FAQ | Studies
Pink Himalayan salt is often referred to as the cleanest salt on the planet. Due to its diverse nutritional and therapeutic effects, it still increases in popularity.
Let’s dig into actual research to examine if Pink Himalayan Salt offers benefits other salts can’t.
What Are the Benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt?
Pink Himalayan salt is a unique salt known as pink salt, pink rock salt, Himalayan sea salt, or Himalayan crystal salt.
Moreover, it belongs to a class of salt called rock salt or halite.
What makes this salt so special is a history reaching back to our planet’s formation, as Himalayan salt is mined from what is believed to be the drained remains of the primal sea.
As with conventional table salt, the essential ingredient in pink Himalayan salt is sodium chloride (NaCl). Contrary to popular belief, these minerals are crucial for life.
For example, the electrolytes sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) are essential for human nerves and muscles’ functioning.
Why Is Himalayan Salt Pink?
Due to the natural harvesting process, Pink Himalayan Salt offers the benefits of minerals and trace elements not found in regular table salt. For example, you can find these crucial minerals in Himalayan Salt:
The pink color of the Himalayan salt is an indication of precisely this mineral content. For this reason, the crystals of the salt can be pink, white, or even red.
Accordingly, Pink Himalayan Salt is said to contain up to 84 different minerals and trace elements.
Where Does It Come From?
Pink Himalayan Salt is mined in the Khewra Salt Mine that originates in Pakistan’s Punjab region near the Himalayan Mountains.
The Khewra Salt Mine is one of the oldest and largest salt mines in the world. We are talking about the Precambrian age – probably more than 4 billion years.
The Khewra Salt Mine protrudes under the Himalayan Mountains at a depth of more than one and a half kilometers.
The salt is said to be over 99% pure, having been formed by the evaporation of ancient waters.
The salt is extracted by hand and minimally processed to produce a crude product. Because it is free of additives, it is considered far more natural than table salt.
Does It Have Iodine?
Although Himalayan Salt’s health benefits are exceptional, it contains very little iodine like other natural sea salts. Therefore, it is still important to have natural foods with iodine in your diet.
For example, these include eggs, fish, and dairy products.
However, conventional table salt also only contains iodine if it is added in the course of processing. Pink Himalayan salt, on the other hand, remains natural.
Like sodium, chloride, or magnesium, iodine is a type of mineral. However, since the human body contains less than 50 mg of iodine per kg, iodine is called a trace element.
Nevertheless, iodine has an essential function in the body, as it is the crucial building block for the thyroid hormones T3 and T4.
Why Is Himalayan Pink Salt Better Than Table Salt?
Genuine, high-quality Pink Himalayan Salt is one of the purest salts you can buy.
That’s why Pink Himalayan Salt is healthier and much more balanced than ordinary table salt. Unlike table salt, it is typically mined by hand.
Because it goes through many unnatural processing steps, there are no additional minerals left in table salt.
For this reason, conventional table salt is typically 97.5 to 99.9% sodium chloride. In contrast, the natural, unrefined Pink Himalayan Salt contains only about 87% sodium chloride.
Therefore, the ingredients of table salt are limited to sodium and chloride. Other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron in Pink Himalayan Salt are absent in table salt.
The benefit of table salt often being fortified with iodine is more than neutralized by the addition of harmful anti-caking agents as part of the processing.
Furthermore, commercial table salts go through a bleaching process and usually contain aluminum derivatives and chemical ingredients known to be highly toxic to human health.
Hence, because of its more balanced nutrient profile and lack of additives, Pink Himalayan Salt is healthier than table salt.
Pink Himalayan Salt vs. Sea Salt
Strictly speaking, pink Himalayan salt is also sea salt, as it comes from a dried sea in the bedrock of a mountain range.
For example, another type of sea salt is Celtic Sea Salt. Since it has a similar composition and health benefits as Pink Himalayan Salt, people often compare them.
However, it is an entirely different salt as it comes from a mine in Brittany in France, has a grayish color and a different mineral composition.
While Pink Himalayan Salt benefits from more potassium, calcium, and iodine, Celtic sea salt contains more magnesium. Therefore, whether pink Himalayan salt is healthier than Celtic sea salt depends on individual needs.
However, pink Himalayan salt is healthier than most other sea salts on the market. We will take a closer look at why this is so.
The essential use of pink Himalayan salt is a healthier alternative to processed table salt.
However, due to the various health benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt, people also use it for the following purposes:
- Air purification
- Body scrub
- Bath salt
Let’s examine in detail which benefits you can reap from Himalayan Pink Salt’s applications.
Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits According to Research
The benefits of pink salt are as varied as its uses. Hence, research backs many Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits, including the following list:
1. No Toxic Ingredients
Unlike conventional table salt, Pink Himalayan Salt is natural – especially if you buy it in the form of granular crystals.
In the course of processing conventional table salts, anti-caking agents are added to prevent clumping. With this in mind, these chemical additives are not substances you would like to consume.
For example, sodium aluminosilicate is an anti-caking agent commonly used in table salt. Since sodium aluminosilicate is a good portion of aluminum, it is considered a neurotoxin.
Therefore, the aluminum in sodium aluminosilicate can cause cellular damage to the human nervous system. Consequently, it may be involved in developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s (Exley et al. 20141).
Himalayan rock salt is also ahead of other sea salts since these may contain microplastics.
Since sea salt is extracted from dried seawater, which is now considerably polluted with plastic, it may contain microplastics.
Accordingly, a recent study examining table salts in five different continents confirmed this claim (Karami et al. 20172).
Although its health effects are mostly unexplored, eating plastic is not expected to be good for our bodies.
While Pink Himalayan salt also comes from seawater, this water evaporated millions of years ago, so human intervention didn’t have a chance to pollute it.
Moreover, over 85% of all sea salt producers today use a refining process for their salt production.
2. Additional Minerals
As we have already found out, the nutrient density of pink Himalayan salt is much higher than that of other salts.
Besides the electrolytes magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and chloride, this sea salt contains traces of:
Although these minerals are not significantly present in Himalayan rock salt, adding more trace minerals while avoiding chemicals sounds like a great way to improve your diet.
However, researchers already confirmed that Pink Himalayan Salt offers more electrolytes than other salts (Drake et al. 20103).
And your health may benefit from these essential electrolytes in Pink Himalayan Salt for the following reasons:
- Potassium combats fatigue, insulin resistance, and hypertension (Shrimanker et al. 20204; Chatterjee et al. 20125; Iimura et al. 19816)
- Calcium is better absorbed by the body through potassium, supporting muscle contraction and bone formation (Lambert et al. 20157)
- Chloride plays an essential role in water, electrolyte, and acid-base balance (Berend et al. 20128)
- Magnesium is vital for DNA repair, muscle function, bone health, and improving hypertension (Jahnen-Dechent et al. 20129; Kawano et al. 199910)
Unlike the other electrolytes, the magnesium content in Himalayan rock salt is relatively low. Nevertheless, it also provides your body with more of this mineral compared to conventional salts.
3. Body Fluids
The electrolytes sodium and potassium are major players in keeping body fluids in balance.
For example, blood and urine are affected by this function. After ensuring that blood can flow more easily through blood vessels, fluid balance is a vital thing.
Accordingly, too little sodium in the blood can become a problem. This so-called hyponatremia can subsequently cause heart failure, liver cirrhosis, or even sepsis (Roumelioti et al. 201811).
Moreover, too little sodium in the blood can have the following causes:
- Excessive drinking of water without salt
- Excessive sweating
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Heart failure
On the other hand, these symptoms may be signs of hyponatremia:
- Mood swings
- Muscle cramps
Since it also plays a crucial role in the human nervous system, these physical ailments may be based on sodium deficiency.
4. Nervous System
Too little salt in our bodies usually manifests as headaches or mood swings for a reason.
Since nerve cells’ density is exceptionally high in the brain, there is a crucial need for sodium. The designation as an electrolyte already indicates that sodium must have something to do with an electrical charge.
Accordingly, electrolytes are essential for the transmission of nerve impulses in the body.
Sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl-) ions outside and potassium (K+) and negatively charged proteins inside the nerve cell provide an essential chemical potential (Lodish et al. 200012).
Without this potential, nerve impulses cannot fire.
Therefore, sodium chloride (NaCl) or, in short, salt consumption is crucial for our nervous system’s function.
Moreover, in Pink Himalayan Salt’s case, your body is also supplied with an amount of potassium you cannot find in any other salt in such a high concentration.
Since salt is significantly involved in regulating fluid balance, it is no coincidence that it is also related to sleep quality.
Among other adverse effects, sodium deficiency suppresses the production of the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin.
As the name suggests, this hormone helps to retain fluid.
In short, the body secretes vasopressin after the sun goes down, so you don’t have to keep running to the bathroom during the night.
Conversely, eating salt helps you release the antidiuretic hormone, sleep through the night, and not have to pee until the morning (Kjeldsen et al. 198513).
However, it would help if you did not forget that alcohol consumption inhibits antidiuretic hormone release and can dehydrate your body as well (Wang et al. 199114).
Therefore, if you have a few drinks in the evening, consuming salt will not save you from restless sleep or trips to the toilet.
The media has been wrongly flawing the image of salt over decades. As a result, many people today still automatically associate salt consumption with heart disease.
Contrary to this outdated perception, we now know that people in countries with the highest salt consumption have least cardiovascular diseases (Park et al. 201615).
Although research considers a range of 3 to 6 grams ideal, many public authorities still limit daily sodium requirements to 2300 milligrams.
According to recent studies, falling below 3 grams of sodium per day entails a much higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than exceeding 6 grams (Oparil 201416).
Another study that followed over 7000 people for about 14 years even states that the likelihood of dying from heart disease decreases with increasing sodium consumption (Cohen et al. 200617).
Therefore, one must consume salt in enormous amounts and a short period to have a dangerous effect on a healthy body.
Just as the body regulates its temperature or fluid balance, it governs salt intake. As long as the kidneys are healthy, they work to eliminate excess salt.
If there is too little sodium in the body, the kidneys inhibit releasing sodium through the urine because otherwise neurons and muscles could not function properly.
Research suggests that a lack of potassium rather than an excess of sodium causes hypertension.
For example, South Koreans who consume lots of salt have a low risk of hypertension, stroke, and coronary heart disease.
However, unlike other countries with high salt consumption, South Koreans consume incredibly high potassium amounts (Park et al. 201618).
The right way to get more potassium into your diet is to prefer natural foods over processed products.
Accordingly, buying natural salt that contains more potassium than others, such as Himalayan Pink Salt, is a great start.
7. Weight Loss
Despite acting as its natural counterpart, salt still takes the blame for another white crystal’s adverse health effects.
While sugar consumption promotes insulin resistance and body fat, salt increases insulin sensitivity and aids weight loss (Sakuyama et al. 201619).
Since it results in secondary diseases such as type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or metabolic syndrome, one shouldn’t trivialize insulin resistance.
In addition to its primary function as a storage hormone responsible for weight gain, insulin also retains sodium in the kidneys.
When one consumes too little sodium through food, it ensures that sodium remains in the body to provide muscle and nerve function.
Consequently, a low-sodium diet supports the body’s preservation of salt. However, this increases insulin resistance and, inevitably, weight gain (Garg et al. 201120).
Moreover, salt takes the bitter taste out of our food and acts against cravings.
Unlike sugar, salt has a positive feedback loop. If your body has had enough salt, your craving for salt will disappear.
So if you get a craving for salt, reach for Himalayan Pink Salt and season whole food meals with it, which is far healthier than binging on salty snacks.
Moreover, you can also dissolve Himalayan Salt in water and drink it anytime.
Besides adding it to food, you can also use Pink Himalayan Salt as a sole, a solution of pure water and salt. You can make this saltwater drink in no time.
Natural medicine practitioners swear by drinking one glass of Himalayan Salt sole water per day to support the digestive system.
Like what we explained earlier, people use sole water drinks to harmonize the acid-base balance and stimulate stomach acid production and other digestive juices.
In short, water with Himalayan salt (and a squeeze of lemon or lime) helps neutralize pH levels, boost energy levels and stay hydrated.
Some researchers also suggest that the negatively charged ions of pure salt with trace minerals help pull toxins from cells.
9. Antimicrobial Properties
Pink Himalayan Salt is used as a hygiene and detoxifying agent in soaps, scrubs, and baths for a reason.
Accordingly, scientists have found that salt exhibits beneficial antimicrobial properties as a natural preservative (Wijnker et al. 200621).
Therefore, Himalayan crystal salt in its multiple applications can help the immune system fight off bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
10. Respiratory Health
In the context of respiratory diseases, there exists the so-called “halotherapy.” This method aims to relieve respiratory problems by inhaling salt.
Moreover, these processes use Himalayan Pink Salt or even Himalayan Salt caves to unleash health benefits.
Accordingly, recent asthma studies have demonstrated that halotherapy reduces bronchial hyperresponsiveness in adults and children (Hedman et al. 200622; Bar-Yoseph et al. 201623).
If Pink Himalayan Salt reduces asthma symptoms, can it also improve the general quality of the air we breathe?
Benefits of a Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp
No, they are not mere decorations for the dingy corners of a house. Pink Himalayan salt lamps have the significant benefit of purifying indoor air.
That is why it makes sense to place Himalayan Salt lamps in the living room or office.
While these lamps attract humid air, they evaporate water quickly due to the heat on the surface.
The evaporation creates negative ions that can react with and neutralize positively charged pollen, dust, dirt, pollutants, and allergens.
This way, potential pollutants remain in the salt instead of entering your body.
Pink Himalayan Salt Bath Benefits for the Skin
Not only that, immersing your body in a Himalayan Salt bath is incredibly relaxing, but it also helps improve your skin’s texture.
Through dermal absorption, the skin can soak up minerals, such as magnesium. According to studies, magnesium can enter the lymphatic system through the skin (Gröber et al. 201724).
Magnesium absorbed through Himalayan salt can help relax tense muscles and tissues.
Moreover, researchers have found that magnesium’s transdermal absorption can relieve fibromyalgia (Engen et al. 201525).
Because the magnesium content and antimicrobial properties of Himalayan Pink Salt can help reduce skin inflammation, some people use it to treat acne or eczema.
Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt for Intermittent Fasting
If you experience physical side effects during intermittent fasting, eating more salt helps 90% of the time. Notably, it helps prevent headaches.
Since intermittent fasting aims to deplete carbohydrate stores to burn stored fat for energy, you lose water in the process.
Since the body stores carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in liver, kidney, and muscle cells. Each gram of glycogen binds 3-4 grams of water, which is flushed out during fasting.
Therefore, those who do not drink appropriately will experience symptoms of the so-called keto flu, such as headaches and dizziness, during intermittent fasting.
These physical symptoms are mostly due to the lack of electrolytes – primarily sodium – flushed out along with the water.
Hence, eating more salt helps with 90% of all physical side effects of intermittent fasting.
In this regard, Pink Himalayan Salt is the healthier choice. It can return to the body not only sodium but also a considerable range of other minerals and trace elements at once.
Besides the increased need for salt, the body also needs more water due to glycogen depletion to stay hydrated and prevent headaches.
Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt on Keto
When you start on a ketogenic diet, the body loses more water than before. Since both methods target the same metabolic process, this is due to the same effect as during intermittent fasting.
Before the human body goes into ketosis and uses fat as its primary energy source, it breaks down carbohydrate stores, flushing out water and electrolytes.
While fasting can get you into ketosis by not eating, a ketogenic diet induces this metabolic state by severely restricting carbohydrate intake and focusing on healthy fats at the same time.
Since the storage hormone insulin blocks the enzyme that breaks down body fat, both keto, and intermittent fasting aim to reduce insulin levels (Meijssen et al. 200126).
Therefore, both methods help to prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
As already discussed, insulin also signals the body to retain salt (Brands et al. 201227).
Therefore, during keto and intermittent fasting, the kidneys flush out excess water and sodium. For this reason, you need more salt to feel well on a ketogenic diet.
In short, like with fasting, sodium deficiency is the leading cause of headaches or dizziness, which is why these symptoms are often referred to as “keto flu.”
Nonetheless, your body will crave salt anyway when it needs it. Therefore, don’t economize salt on a ketogenic diet or during intermittent fasting. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to drink water with Himalayan Salt in case of physical signs.
Due to its balanced profile of minerals and trace elements, Pink Himalayan Salt offers more benefits than other salts on a ketogenic diet.
Each additional pinch of Himalayan Salt provides the body with extra electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Side Effects of Pink Himalayan Salt
One possible drawback of Himalayan rock salt is that it is not fortified with iodine due to its unrefined nature.
Nonetheless, it still contains more iodine than other natural salts.
Nevertheless, switching from iodized salt to Pink Himalayan Salt may cause side effects if people do not have other iodine sources in their diet.
In particular, natural foods with iodine include:
- Dairy products
Although iodine is a trace element and one does not need to consume it in bulk, it is advisable to regularly eat one of the natural foods listed above.
Since it is needed to maintain proper thyroid function, iodine deficiency can lead to fatigue and weakness, among other symptoms (Kostoglou-Athanassiou et al. 201028).
Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits Outshine Other Sea Salts
Although pink Himalayan salt is not the only pure salt, you can easily recognize it and probably buy it in better quality than other sea salts at any time.
The math is relatively simple. Himalayan salt adds more nutrients and health benefits to your diet while reducing potentially harmful substances.
To make sure you’re buying the highest quality Himalayan Pink Salt, it has to come from Pakistan because that’s the only place it’s mined.
Moreover, it would help if you bought it as coarse-grained crystal salt to ensure that it has not been processed and contaminated by additives.
Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits FAQ
Is Himalayan pink salt good for you?
Since it is least refined and overs do the widest variety of minerals, Himalayan Pink Salt might be good for you.
Why is Himalayan salt bad for you?
Himalayan Salt is a way saver choice than ordinary table salt since it’s minimally refined and doesn’t contain potentially toxic caking agents.
Is Himalayan pink salt good for weight loss?
Since Himalayan Pink Salt improves insulin sensitivity and curb cravings, it can be good for weight loss.
Does Pink Himalayan Salt raise blood pressure?
Scientists debunked the misconception that sodium generally raises blood pressure. Today they instead suggest that lack of potassium causes hypertension. Since Himalayan salt is the salt with the highest potassium, it may help lower blood pressure.
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