Human beings look out for a change in every sphere of life. The latest item to join the bandwagon of changes is the humble table salt. Alternatives like sea salt, rock salt, and pink salt have slowly replaced the standard sodium chloride salt at the dinner table, due to their rich mineral content and great flavor. Let us learn more about these salts and their health benefits.
Sea Salt – This coarse grained wonder has become a favorite in the culinary world. It has the same chemical composition as table salt, but its method of extraction is different. Unlike common salt, sea salt is formed from mineral extracts.
Gourmet chefs love to use sea salt as it lends a coarse texture to food. Because of its rate of dissolution, it is also said to change its flavor on dissolving. Furthermore, it is the choice of salt for marinating meats and fish. Overall, sea salt, with its rough rounded crystals that melt in the mouth, has risen to rule the table.
However, in addition to being a nice flavor additive, it offers a host of health benefits. Some of them are listed below:
- Balances the levels of electrolytes in the body and combats dehydration and water loss.
- Regulates levels of sugar in the blood, making it a must have for diabetics.
- Maintains blood pressure and helps prevent several heart problems.
Rock Salt – Rock salt is a well-kept secret of Ancient Indian Medicine and Ayurveda. It varies slightly in composition from the common table salt. Unlike the fine grained salt, it exhibits colorless, solid crystals.
Owing to its numerous health benefits like improving digestion, and maintaining normal blood pressure, it has become a trusted friend of every Indian mother. Rediscovered yet again, rock salt is now extensively used as a flavor enhancer especially in Indian cuisine. Rare blue, red, and pink varieties of rock salt have also found their way in the cooking industry. Finely ground rock salt works well as a finisher salt or table salt.
Rock salt has many health benefits:
- Boosts metabolism, reduces acidity and improves bowel movement.
- Increases nutrient and water absorption in the body.
- Stimulates the salivary glands, thus increasing appetite.
Pink Salt – This pretty pink variation of sodium chloride is a gem for the modern gourmet chef. The Himalayan salt or pink salt is harvested in Pakistan in the Punjab region of the Indo-Gangetic plains and is considered to have a superior flavor than the simple table salt.
Its composition is similar to that of table salt, with the additional benefits of other minerals such as polyhalite, fluoride, and iodine. These are often red, pink, or beet-red in color. Himalayan salt crystals are used in brine and are also used to make beautiful, decorative assets called salt lamps.
This salt variety has effectively replaced the table salt in many households. Blocks of pink salt are increasingly being used by gourmet chefs in several dishes and cuisines, not only due to the wonderful flavour but also the health value.
It is good for health in the following ways:
- Helps lower blood pressure.
- Helps balance the body’s pH levels, due to its alkaline nature. It is also a great natural antacid.
- Maintains bone and tissue health. It is, therefore, a natural remedy for those prone to arthritis, bone aches, fractures and muscle cramps.
So go ahead and add these varieties of salt to your dishes for a distinguished flavour and a range of health benefits.