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What Are the Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt?

| By Marie Dannie
What Are the Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt?
Himalayan pink salt. Photo Credit only_fabrizio/iStock/Getty Images

With its delicate pink, rose-like color, Himalayan salt is visually distinctive and prized for its purported nutritional profile as it contains a high number of essential minerals. Himalayan salt is considered healthier than common table salt because it does not contain any additives or chemicals, and is a naturally occurring substance.

Sea Salt and Detoxification

What Are the Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt?
Sea salt. Photo Credit Viktor Fischer/iStock/Getty Images

Himalayan salt has been used to help detoxify the body in the form of a brine treatment. Most commonly done in the form of a bath, brine baths purport to detoxify the body through osmosis. As the sodium binds the water to the outer layer of your skin, moisture is preserved. Toxins are released from your body, while your skin absorbs the healthy minerals from the sodium into your body. It is recommended that the brine bath be as close as possible to normal body temperature, around 97 degrees Fahrenheit, and that you use 2.2 lbs. of Himalayan salt for approximately every 26 to 32 gallons of water.

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Sodium

What Are the Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt?
Healthy body. Photo Credit Kraig Scarbinsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images

As a natural source of sodium, Himalayan salt provides an essential mineral for healthy bodily functions. Sodium helps to regulate blood volume and thus blood pressure, as well as helping to control muscle contractions, nerve transmissions and heart functions. Sodium can be found naturally in a number of foods, but it can also be consumed as added salt, as in the case of Himalayan salt. The daily recommended amount of sodium to be consumed daily is between 1500 mg and 2300 mg, for men and women between the ages of 9 and 50.

Mineral Content and Consumption

What Are the Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt?
Assorted coarse salts. Photo Credit Alberto Bogo/iStock/Getty Images

Himalayan salt is widely touted for its mineral content, containing 84 minerals in total. In addition to sodium, Himalayan salt is relatively high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and chloride. It also contains traces of boron, fluoride, iodine, zinc, selenium and copper, all of which are necessary for bodily health. As a naturally occurring salt, Himalayan salt contains all these minerals without chemical processing or refinement. Because it is harvested naturally, Himalayan salt’s mineral benefits are available regardless of what form the salt is consumed as. Himalayan salt is most commonly found as coarse grains, fine grains, or large blocks which can be used as serving platters that delicately “season” the food they serve.

Excess Sodium Consumption

What Are the Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt?
High blood pressure. Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

Despite its high mineral content, Himalayan salt is primarily a source of sodium, and excess sodium consumption can lead to a host of health problems. The most well known of these complications is hypertension, or high blood pressure. When sodium levels rise, your body retains water in an attempt to dilute the blood, increasing blood volume and pressure. As sodium naturally occurs in a wide range of foods, eating too much added sodium, even in the form of Himalayan salt, can be more detrimental than beneficial to your overall health. Limit your sodium consumption to no more than 2300 mg per day, or 1500 mg per day, if you suffer from high blood pressure.

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References

author image Marie Dannie
Marie Dannie has been a professional journalist since 1991, specializing in nutrition and health topics. She has written for "Woman’s Own," the "Daily Mail," the "Daily Mirror" and the "Telegraph." She is a registered nutritionist and holds a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in food science from the University of Nottingham.
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