Sea salt has become very popular in the last decade, much more than regular table salt. But what is the difference between the two? Isn’t salt just salt? Well, yes and no.
Table salt is mined from the ground and then refined and processed. Meanwhile, sea salt is the product of naturally evaporated seawater or salt lake water. Three of the most popular kinds of sea salt come from the North Sea (called Celtic sea salt), the Dead Sea, and the Himalayas (which has a distinctive pink color).
Many newer health products tout the benefits of Dead Sea salt over other types or claim that the benefits of Himalayan sea salt are superior. But the truth is that they both work. The only difference is the mineral content from the two different parts of the world and the makeup of the sea the salt is gathered from.
Now that you know sea salt can help you, here are six spectacular benefits of sea salt and the different ways you can use it.
Sea salt contains more minerals than table salt
Sea salt may not have the added iodine of table salt, but it does have other vital nutrients. Besides the necessary sodium, it also includes potassium, magnesium, and over 70 other essential minerals.
Even though table salt is processed with added iodine — which the body needs for a healthy thyroid — sea salt naturally contains some, too. Although the natural level of iodine is lower in sea salt, if your diet includes seafood and dairy products, you are probably getting your daily requirements elsewhere, so you can substitute sea salt for table salt without any trouble.
Sea salt makes digestion easier
In addition to making food taste better, sea salt has another use: it helps your body to produce hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is needed to break food down. If you don’t make enough acid to do the job you can open yourself to stomach trouble. This is the opposite of too much acid created by spicy foods or too much citric acid, which leads to heartburn and ulcers and other reactions.
Sea salt eases and prevents muscle cramps
There are muscle-related benefits of drinking sea salt water — water with just a small amount of sea salt mixed in. (Do not drink actual seawater, which will dehydrate you due to its high salt content.) The magnesium content of sea salt helps prevent Charley horses, muscle spasms, and restless leg jitters.
But the health benefits of sea salt don’t just come from ingesting it. It has many uses on the outside of the body, too! For example, the benefits of a sea salt bath include alleviating pain from overwork, stress, and strain. Sea salt has anti-inflammatory properties, stimulates circulation, and can help relieve arthritis pain and stiffness in joints.
Sea salt is great for skin health
Applied externally, sea salt helps keep your skin healthy. Exfoliation is one of the many benefits of sea salt on the face and body. Sea salt can help relieve acne and eczema symptoms as well as other skin issues.
Sea salt has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Soaking your feet in a sea salt solution can help treat athlete’s foot and minor infections (in addition to relieving tiredness by stimulating circulation). Simply dissolve 2 teaspoons of sea salt into a foot basin filled with warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
Sea salt helps treat rhinitis and other sinus problems
Besides drinking and soaking, the benefits of sea salt water include one other method of use: the neti pot. A cleansing solution of sea salt and distilled water can help prevent sinus infections and keep the system clean and running.
Neti pots should not be used with table salt because of the added iodine; sea salt is ideal for sinus maintenance. And never use tap water in a neti pot, it’s just not clean enough to flush out your insides. All you need is sea salt and distilled water and you’re set to go.
Sea salt keeps the adrenal glands healthy
Sea salt helps the immune system too. It helps reduce inflammation thanks to its potassium content. The adrenal glands can get overworked because of stress, so there’s an additional benefit to keeping your adrenal glands working right. And lowering stress helps with heart health. So there’s even more reason to use sea salt!
Research studies have proven that the Dead Sea salt solution is also effective in providing relief from rhinosinusitis. The study also concluded that nasal irrigation and sprays done with sea salt showed better symptomatic relief as compared to those made of hypertonic saline solution. The anti-inflammatory effects of Dead Sea salts make them a natural and healthy alternative for relieving nasal allergies and other respiratory disorders; other remedies, such as nasal steroids have side effects like inflammation that can lead to mucus secretion. The mineral content present in Dead Sea salt may help alleviate swelling and congestion, as well.
Maintains Electrolyte Balance
Sea salt helps in maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance in the body, which is necessary for maintaining optimum blood composition and circulation, muscular strength, and overall functioning of the body. Minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium contribute to the electrolytic equilibrium of the body. Sea salt aids in maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure and helps normalize irregular heartbeats.
Gives Relief from Acne
Sea salts contain sulfur, which may help in cleansing and treating skin conditions like dermatitis and acne scars.
Sea salt is thought to help in alkalizing the cells of the body by facilitating the excretion of excess acids through urination. According to many who follow the alkaline diet, this helps in maintaining the optimal acid-alkali ratio of the body. While there is much more research on this topic to be conducted, some research reviews suggest that there may be some validity in following an alkaline diet to reduce morbidity in the future.
Did you know that the word “salary” derives from the Latin word for salt? Salt used to be so important in ancient times that people were actually paid with it. Even back then, people knew the importance of salt to human survival. Incorporate natural sea salt into your lifestyle and enjoy the many benefits today!