Himalayan Pink Salt - Is it good for you?
If you’ve decided to make better food choices you’ll have found that there’s lots of advice out there – and plenty of people suggesting some new food or supplements that will revolutionise the way you look and feel. Himalayan Pink salt is, I think, one of the products that you can easily add to your shopping list without having to part with too much of your cash.
You can use it in cooking or at the table, and it is very pretty (it reminds me of my gran’s bath salts), varying from slightly off-white through shades of pink to quite a deep red. You can get 500g (more than 1lb) for around £2.50 so it doesn’t seem like a huge outlay, compared it with the cost of ordinary table salt.
Of course, adding too much salt to your food at the table can impact on your blood pressure, but if you want to have pretty salt to get your dinner guests talking, go right ahead. If you are thinking of buying it for any health benefits though, be warned it's not the only answer.
Exotic Origins of Pink Salt
Pink Himalayan salt is mined in the Punjab, Pakistan, usually by hand. It was probably formed millions of years ago by the evaporation of seawater, and it has been covered ever since by a volcanic layer that has kept it naturally clean and pure and also imparted a range of minerals and trace elements that give it the pink colouration. There may be as many as 84 of these, including potassium, magnesium and iron.
It is these minerals and trace elements that led people to think it might offer health benefits, but the product is still more than 95% sodium chloride – common or garden salt. And, given that healthcare professionals tell us we should eat no more than a teaspoon of salt a day (including the salt that occurs naturally in our food), the amount of these nutrients you can get from eating pink Himalayan salt is vanishingly small.
Current Health Claims
I’ve read that pink Himalayan salt can improve:
- Respiratory function (breathing)
- Sleep quality
- Sex drive
- Bone strength
- Helps to lower blood pressure
- Reduces signs of ageing
- Helps to remove heavy metals from the body
People make these claims because the trace elements that the salt contains are vital to good health. But the quantities that you can ingest from your salt will have no major benefits.
Overall, having Himalayan Pink Salt may improve the taste of your foods and will add small amounts of magnesium and potassium to your diet, which are always beneficial to your overall health. However, I am sorry to say that by choosing pink salt instead of white table salt you will not solve all your health problems, such as lowering your blood pressure and making you look ten years younger. But it won't hurt to add it to your shopping list for everyday use for flavour and a few additional nutrients that your existing table salt lacks.
What do you think?