Many people have noticed that sea salt has become hugely popular during the last years. Why is that? What are the benefits of sea salt? We shall tell you about the specifics of this unique product and how it affects our health and even beauty. Back in ancient times people noticed that salt from the sea has healing properties and a beneficial effect on the regenerative processes in the body. But the beneficial properties of sea salt are not limited to this.
Sea salt is extracted from sea water for thousands of years. It is believed that this process began in countries with a hot climate like Greece where shallow ponds were created to evaporate sea water under the sun. First heavier components are settled and then the water was distilled into a second, smaller pond, where the procedure was repeated. After that the process was repeated in a third pond, fourth pond and in the last pond of the series, only pure water without impurities remained. After the water dried out, only salt remains in the bottom. This method is still used today and the annual production of sea salt worldwide reaches 300 million tons.
Composition and benefits of sea salt
Sea salt has a grayish color and its chemical composition is very rich in macro- and microelements. It can be consumed internally and used externally. It enhances the taste of food and a small amount of salt will make the dish more flavorful and tasty.
The product contains calcium, iodine, magnesium, bromine, chlorine, iron, zinc, silicon, copper, fluorine, etc. It is traditionally believed that sea salt has all the benefits of sea water. At the same time, the product owes much of its popularity to the excellent work of advertisement and romantically minded consumers. A partial role for the growing popularity of this particular type of salt is the fact that it is often sold in mixtures with herbs, pepper, garlic, lemon zest, dyed with wine, flavored with lavender, dill and even truffles. Who can resist that?
However, you need to keep in mind that sea salt is not food, but seasoning, and try to comply with the daily recommended intake of this product advised by experts. Many people ignore the fact that trace elements need to be obtained not so much from salt, but from fruits, meat and vegetables.
As you see, there is an on-going debate about the benefits of sea salt, so we shall list the most important pros and cons of this product:
- It preserves its properties because the trace elements in its composition are of natural origin and they do not disappear, evaporate or get lost. Practically, natural sea salt has no expiration date.
- The product speeds up metabolic processes due to the high concentration of mineral elements, like sodium and potassium, which accelerate the metabolic processes useful for the body.
- The product contributes to the normal functioning of the whole organism.
- Calcium prevents infections;
- Manganese helps strengthen the immune system;
- Iodine acts as a regulator of lipid and hormonal processes;
- Iron is responsible for supplying cells with oxygen and helps the formation of new red blood cells;
- Zinc has a beneficial effect on the reproductive system;
- Magnesium has anti-allergic properties.
Further to that, sea salt
- has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system;
- reduces the risk of developing thyroid diseases;
- participates in cell regeneration;
- promotes skin elasticity;
- has an antiseptic effect;
- helps to relieve pain;
- helps reduce stress;
- increases the overall vitality.
On the other hand, excessive consumption of sodium chloride, contained in sea salt, leads to higher blood pressure and risk of stroke and various heart diseases.
How to choose and store sea salt?
The benefits of sea salt are obvious. One should understand that only high quality product will have positive beneficial effect. Depending on the region of manufacturing, the particular mineral content as well as the method used to evaporate water, sea salts comes in different varieties. Maldon salt is harvested off the coast of Great Britain, Fleur de sel has lower content of sodium, but higher mineral content than normal salt and is manufactured in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Sel gris (gray salt) has a higher mineral content and a gray color. It is harvested in the same salt pans as Fleur de sel but the method is different. The variety of sea salt is almost endless as it can be harvested in any place of the world where there is sea water.
Here are some useful tips how to choose and store this product:
- Read the information on the packaging. The product must be extracted by evaporation which is a guarantee that all minerals are naturally preserved.
- Remember that sea salt has a grayish color. The darker the color, the more minerals and valuable components are preserved
- You can buy a mixture of sea salt with herbs. As a rule, onions, basil, parsley, as well as seaweed and spices are added to the salt. This mixture is recommended to be used as a seasoning for any dish. Spicy salt helps to remove excess fluid from the body and break down fats.
- When using the product, it is worth observing the recommended proportions.
- How to store sea salt? It should be stored in a dry place, in an airtight container, preferably glass, as it absorbs moisture.
- If your salt is damp, add a couple of tablespoons of uncooked rice which will absorb the moisture and keep the salt dry.