Salt often gets a bad rap when it comes to health. That’s because many people think all salt is essentially the same and that sodium is bad for your body.In reality, some salts are healthier than others. And your body still needs sodium. Your goal, then, should be to find the type of salt for your diet and lifestyle.
With our comprehensive guide, you will gain a better understanding of different salts and their health benefits. Here is how to choose the healthiest type of salt for you.
Table salt is the most basic type of salt. Chances are you’ve got some of this kicking around in the kitchen right now.
Unfortunately, table salt is also one of the least healthy salts. It is mined from underground salt deposits and heavily processed to remove minerals. It packs a lot of sodium (40% by weight).
But it has iodine added to it, its primary health benefit. That’s one of your essential nutrients, and table salt can help prevent you from developing an iodine deficiency.
Sea salt is a popular alternative to table salt. It’s produced by evaporating sea or lake water, so it contains trace minerals from its water source. It offers the same amount of sodium by weight, though the larger salt crystals may mean you consume less sodium per teaspoon. Compared to table salt, sea salt offers a number of other major benefits.
The benefits of sea salt include its mineral content. It provides you with magnesium, calcium, and potassium. The only real downside here is that it offers less iodine than table salt.
What is rock salt, exactly? It’s basically salt in its purest and most unrefined form. It also goes by a fancier name (sendha namak) and is used as much for meditation and ritual as it is for diet in various Hindi rituals.
The benefits of rock salt include its mineral content. This salt contains calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and more. On top of the mineral content, this salt can help improve digestion, increase metabolism, reduce stress, and improve sleep.
Himalayan Pink Salt
If you’re looking for an alternative to table salt, Himalayan pink salt is a solid choice. It’s a rock salt mined in Pakistan, near the foothills of the Himalayas. The benefits of Himalayan pink salt include a wide array of minerals your body really needs. This includes all (yes, all) of the 84 trace elements your body needs to survive.
Himalayan pink salt is healthy, aesthetically pleasing, and quite affordable. In fact, this is one of the healthiest salts on this list.
Black salt is sea salt that has been blended with activated charcoal. The color may make you think of volcanoes, and that’s exactly where Hawaii’s black salt comes from. Its activated charcoal content leads to some surprising health benefits.
Benefits of black salt include improving digestion and removing impurities from your body. By the way, salt aficionados should know there is another “black salt” called Kala Namak. It looks black at first, but after you grind it up, that salt is actually pink.
Black salt is not the only salt that hails all the way from Hawaii. Red salt is sea salt that has been mixed with volcanic clay called “alaea” from Hawaii. It offers the kind of benefits that will make your body feel like you’re on vacation!
Red salt offers the absolute maximum amount of trace minerals compared to other salts. Iron is the chief mineral, so this salt can help to treat any iron deficiencies you may have.
Remember when Lumière in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast implored us to “try the grey stuff, it’s delicious”? They may as well have been talking about grey salt!
Grey salt gets its color from the clay lining of the salt ponds where it is evaporated from, mostly off France’s Atlantic coast. This robust salt is good for bold flavors like steaks.
In addition to its unique color and chunky texture, grey salt is full of healthy minerals. In fact, the benefits of grey salt include being full of calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. It also provides the iodine you need and can help prevent muscle cramps.
“Kosher salt” comes by its name honestly. This salt fully conforms to the dietary requirements of Jewish law. Regardless of your faith, though, this salt has a number of surprising benefits.
Benefits of kosher salt include that it has fewer additives than table salt. While that means no iodine, this salt is a great choice for those who want a cleaner diet. And if you enjoy preparing your own meals, you may find the larger kosher crystals easier to spread over your food.
Persian Blue Salt
Persian blue salt is one of the most beautiful salts you can find. It’s also one of the rarest salts in the world. It’s a rock salt that formed on Earth 100 million years ago and is mined from the Ergourz mountain range in Iran. Only a few tons are mined per year, so it’s one of the rarest salts in the world.
Benefits of Persian blue salt include minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. It’s the potassium mineral called sylvinite that gives this salt its rare blue color.
In fact, the only real downside to this particular salt is that it comes with a hefty price tag. Then again, can you really put a price tag on consuming one of the rarest salts on the planet?