Pink salt of the Himalayas: is it true that it has health benefits?
Salt is and has been throughout history a fundamental element in our diet , serving both in the preparation of dishes and when it comes to preserving food. It is, at least in the case of those used for consumption, sodium chloride, a component necessary for life and electrolyte balance of the body (although it is already present in food naturally).
However, as we already know, an excess of salt in the diet is extremely harmful and can lead to health conditions and conditions dangerous to life. That is why the existence of alternatives that apparently have a lower sodium level and are healthier is desirable, such alternatives being increasingly popular.
An example of this is found in the increasingly common pink salt of the Himalayas , which we are going to talk about in this article.
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The pink salt of the Himalayas
It receives the name of pink salt of the Himalayas a type of salt of pink coloration that in spite of its name does not come from this mountain range but from the Khewra salt mine in Pakistan . It is a type of rock salt, since it comes from mines and not from the sea, which is widely sold throughout the world as one of the most natural and healthy salts, and even medicinal properties are attributed to it.
It is a natural salt and not refined, something that has earned him the admiration of many. Likewise, It is usually more expensive than normal , being often considered as a type of exotic gourmet salt.
It is generally said to have around 84 essential components for our diet, although some studies seem to indicate that only about ten of them have been found in the samples analyzed. Specifically, it has been observed that sodium chloride (being this the majority component), magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, cobalt, chromium, zinc, fluorine, gold, calcium, manganese and iodine. In addition, the presence of impurities in the form of gypsum (and in some cases, although in a negligible proportion, lead, mercury or arsenic) have also been observed.
Its main use is in kitchen, in which it is especially attractive both for its different appearance to that of common salt and for the benefits it is considered to have. It has also been used as a decorative element , as an element to add to the water when we bathe and there are even lamps of this type of salt.
Its supposed properties
Since the so-called rose gold was named and introduced by Peter Ferreira in Germany, there has been talk of the supposed medicinal properties of this type of salt .
These include the presumed ability to reduce atherosclerosis, regulate blood pressure and prevent arrhythmias, in addition to contributing to treat asthma or osteoporosis (supposedly strengthening the bones). It has also been said that this type of salt favors the acid-base balance of the blood and that it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action, and that it helps regulate the amount of glucose in the blood (something that would be useful for diabetics), to prevent cramps and improve libido and sleep. It is also said to improve the functionality of the kidneys, prevents fluid retention and facilitates hydration.
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What the studies seem to indicate
As we have indicated in the previous section, those that have been indicated so far are properties that have been attributed to it. Although some of them are true, others start from the existence of concrete minerals that generate a true positive effect would require a massive consumption of salt (which on the other hand would generate adverse effects) . Unfortunately and as can be deduced from some studies, behind many of these advantages we can find a considerable marketing strategy.
It is true that we are dealing with a type of natural and unrefined salt, not being processed and therefore not chemically manipulating its properties, something that on the other hand can allow its impurities to reach the table. However, there are authors who indicate that in reality the pink salt owes its coloration to a process of elaboration , not being as natural or pure as it is intended.
Another noteworthy point is that although its composition is practically the same as that of other salts and is mainly made up of sodium chloride, it is true that it has a more salty taste (something that makes us throw less) and that when starting from large blocks of salt the amount of sodium in each portion is less. In the end, this can have a positive effect or, better said, not affect health as much as other salts at the vascular level .
In addition, like other salts, it also participates in regulating the electrolyte balance of the body and contributes to fluid retention. It also makes sense that it can help prevent cramping, since some of them are caused by low electrolyte levels. With regard to the rest of the alleged properties, a higher level of research will be necessary to assess them, since there is not enough evidence at this time or they are considered to be false.
- Hall, H. (2017). "Pink Himalayan Sea Salt: An Update". Science-based Medicine.