Celtic Sea Salt is a brand of sea salt that was launched in 1976. The company that makes Celtic salt claims it has a number of trace minerals and vitamins that may be good for your health.
But is Celtic salt good for you? And is it any better than regular table salt?
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Here, learn the difference between Celtic Sea Salt and table salt, including the benefits and risks, and how much you should eat per day.
What Is Celtic Sea Salt?
Celtic Sea Salt (pronounced "Keltic") is also known as grey salt. It was originally sourced from Brittany, France, but over time, the company has also sourced its salt from a number of coastal areas in Guatemala, Hawaii and other locations.
Celtic Sea Salt — and sea salt in general — is made by evaporating ocean water or water from saltwater lakes. It has a different texture and taste than table salt. Sea salt also contains some trace minerals, which vary depending on which water source the salt came from, per the Mayo Clinic.
Some people prefer sea salt to table salt for cooking because of its coarse texture and stronger flavor, per the American Heart Association.
Celtic Sea Salt Nutrition Info
One-quarter teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt has the following nutrient content compared to table salt, per the USDA:
(per 1/4 tsp)
Celtic Sea Salt
Does Celtic Sea Salt Have Any Health Benefits? Probably Not
Sodium is a necessary mineral involved in body processes like muscle contractions, nerve impulses and regulating fluids, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. But this is a benefit of salt in general, whether it's table salt or sea salt.
The benefits of Celtic salt, in particular, are largely anecdotal. The company that created Celtic Sea Salt claims it provides vital trace minerals and elements as well as natural electrolytes. However, detailed information on the salt's mineral content is not available. (And, as we've noted, the company sources its salt from different areas, so the vitamin and mineral content may be variable.)
That said, there is really no research-backed health difference between sea salt and table salt, except that sea salt is often less processed, per the Mayo Clinic.
Here are a few claims about Celtic salt's health benefits that are either not true or need more evidence-based research to determine their validity.
1. Healing Damaged SkinLimited Evidence
Some people think that using Celtic sea salt benefits skin — mostly as an exfoliating scrub to heal dry skin and other conditions like rosacea or acne. But there is not enough scientific evidence or studies to support this claim.
One January 2023 study in Cosmetics did note that water from the Dead Sea in particular (known for its high sodium content) may have a positive effect on skin health, but more research needs to be done.
2. Promoting Cell GrowthLimited Evidence
Some claims have been made that Celtic salt can promote the growth of cells in your body, and that it promotes "osmosis of water across the cell membranes." But this is not rooted in fact and no scientific studies can support this claim.
The only bit of truth? Maintaining proper levels of sodium in the body is important for many cell functions, including growth, per a January 2014 review in Advances in Nutrition. But again, this is a benefit of salt in general, not a benefit of Celtic salt in particular.
3. Supporting Thyroid HealthNo Evidence
Iodine is a particular mineral your thyroid needs to produce certain hormones, and not getting enough can lead to an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) or hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), per the Mayo Clinic.
This is why some people believe the iodine content in Celtic Sea Salt can improve thyroid health. But Celtic salt often has less iodine than iodized table salt, which is a great way to get iodine if you can't get it from other food sources like fish and eggs.
So if you need iodine, stick with moderate amounts of iodized table salt.
4. Relieving Joint Pain and Leg CrampsNo Evidence
There is not enough evidence that putting salt under your tongue for leg cramps is effective, or that soaking in a Celtic Sea Salt bath will relieve joint pain and cramping.
More positive claims, however, have been made about Epsom salts due to their high magnesium content, which is associated with muscle relaxation and pain relief.
But even so, there is not enough evidence to support Epsom salt benefits, either, per the Cleveland Clinic.
5. Reducing MucusNo Evidence
Some people claim that Celtic salt can reduce swelling in the nose and sinuses, thereby thinning and reducing mucus. But no research has been done to determine this connection.
If you are wanting to reduce mucus in your sinuses due to illness or allergies, you are better off using a saline nasal spray or nasal rinse.
Possible Downsides of Too Much Salt
Consuming too much sodium is linked to negative health outcomes, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. High levels of sodium in the diet are associated with high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease and calcium losses.
People with kidney disease, high blood pressure and heart failure may need to be especially careful about their sea salt and table salt intake.
However, most sodium intake does not come from adding salt to your dishes. Instead, it comes from high-sodium processed or prepackaged foods.
Still, both sea salt and table salt should be used in moderation, like all other types of salt, to prevent the above conditions.
How Much Celtic Sea Salt Should You Eat Per Day?
Many websites suggest adding one-quarter to 1 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt to a glass of water per day — to "alkalize the body" and "balance blood sugars" — but there is no scientific evidence to suggest this is helpful.
What's more: A quarter teaspoon of sea salt has about 480 milligrams of sodium, which is about 20 percent of your daily value in a 2,000-calorie diet, per UTSouthwestern Medical Center.
To put this in perspective, the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends you limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day. Too much sodium puts you at risk for high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What's more, the CDC notes the average American consumes significantly more sodium than is recommended — over 3,300 milligrams per day. So most of us do not need to add extra sodium to our diets.
The Bottom Line
There are no real health differences between table salt and Celtic Sea Salt. Similarly, the claims about Celtic salt are largely anecdotal, and most don't have any research-backed evidence whatsoever.
If you wish to season your food with salt, use it sparingly, unless otherwise advised by your doctor or a registered dietitian.
- Mayo Clinic: "What’s the Difference Between Sea Salt and Table Salt?"
- USDA: "Celtic Sea Salt"
- American Heart Association: "Sea Salt vs. Table Salt"
- Celtic Sea Salt: "Home"
- CDC: "Where's the Sodium?"
- Cosmetics: "The Biological Role of Dead Sea Water in Skin Health: A Review"
- Mayo Clinic: "Mayo Clinic Q and A: Sea salt and sufficient iodine intake"
- Advances in Nutrition: "Sodium"
- Cleveland Clinic: "Should You Take an Epsom Salt Bath?"
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Salt and Sodium"
- DietaryGuidelines.gov: "Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Celtic Sea Salt"
- UTSouthwestern Medical Center: "More salt or less – what to do?"
- USDA FoodData Central: "Salt, table"
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