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Everything you need to know about Pink Himalayan Salt. Is it time to switch to pink?

by Tina Sendin January 28, 2019

Everything you need to know about Pink Himalayan Salt. Is it time to switch to pink?

You may have seen them sprinkled all over your meal, as decorative blocks of pink on your tableware, a salt lamp accentuating your room, or as bath salts.

The Pink Himalayan Salt joins the ranks of avocados, succulents, matcha green tea, and turmeric as a few of millennials’ favorite things. [1]

But why exactly is it such a thing now?

Here’s everything you need to know about Pink Himalayan Salt - and why you should consider switching from white to pink.

 

What is Pink Himalayan Salt?

Pink Himalayan Salt is fetishized for a reason – it’s a unique salt.

Also known as Himalayan sea salt, Himalayan crystal salt or simply pink salt, it’s said to be the cleanest and purest salt you can ever find.

It’s extracted from the Khewra Salt Mine, one of the oldest and largest salt mines in the world, located approximately 190 miles from the Himalayas in Pakistan. This region is believed to be one of the richest salt fields in the world, dating back several billion years ago when Earth was first formed. [2] The salt field was said to be created from the evaporation of ancient, primeval bodies of water. [3]

The salt mine runs 5,000 feet deep from below the Himalayan Mountain Range. Because of the tremendous pressure since the formation of the Earth, salt that's hand-mined from here is said to be over 99 percent pure. [4]

Legend has it that the salt range had gone untouched since the beginning, until 1849, when British mining engineer Dr. H Warth constructed a tunnel through it to access the salt deposits.

To date, the salt mine now covers approximately 43 square miles and tunnels about a half mile into the mountain. The amount of salt found in the region is estimated to be somewhere between 80 million tons to 600 million tons. [2]

 

How’s it different from common table salt?

The Pink Himalayan Salt is hand-extracted, which is completely different to how common table salt is processed.

 

The salt is mined by hand and goes through very little processing. This creates a pure and unrefined salt that’s devoid of additives and toxic ingredients.

The natural harvesting process also allows the Pink Himalayan salt to possess more than one mineral that’s said to provide many health benefits for both humans and animals. 

In the meantime, white table salt goes through a lot of artificial interference, like a bleaching process, which removes some of the important minerals.

 

The two differ in composition and how many minerals are in them.

 

The common white rock salt is composed of 97.5 to 99.9 percent sodium chloride. [5] It’s then left with one mineral (sodium), and some iodine. The rest are other ingredients like aluminum derivatives, an anti-clumping agent like yellow prussiate in sodas, and other chemicals needed in the bleaching process. Sound toxic, don’t they?

A high-grade unrefined pink Himalayan sea salt only has 87 percent sodium chloride. [5] It also contains other minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These give the Himalayan sea salt its light pink color and a different taste from the common table salt.

Because of this, some say it’s a healthier alternative to common white table salt.  

Here are other differences between Pink Himalayan Salt and regular table salt:

 

What are the uses of Pink Himalayan Salt? 

People from the Himalayas used to apply the salt to their food as a preservative.

Fast forward to today, the Pink Himalayan Salt has evolved into several uses, like the following:

 

As the name suggests, it’s used as a salt.

Many use the Pink Himalayan Salt like regular table salt. They eat and cook with it, putting the salt in sauces and marinades, or sprinkling it over their dinner. It’s great for seasoning and preserving food.

There are fine versions of the salt but don’t be surprised to see blocks of salt on the table too!

 

It can also be a cooking surface.

Apparently, some people also buy large blocks of Pink Himalayan Salt and use them for grilling, searing and applying that desirable salty flavor to meats and other dishes.

 

It’s also used for other things in the kitchen.

The salt can transform into a serving plate and even as a cutting board! How versatile can pink salt get?

 

It can be used for body care.

Aside from its uses in the kitchen, the salt can also make a good body scrub, bath soaks, and bath salt. Some claim that the pink salt helps improve skin conditions and soothe sore muscles. [3]

 

It’s a great salt lamp.

You may have seen those fancy-looking lamp made of big blocks of Pink Himalayan Salt with a light source from the inside. Some say it helps clear the air from pollutants. This is based on claims that spending some time inside salt caves are helpful for people suffering from skin conditions and respiratory illnesses. In fact, there’s an asthma clinic inside the Khewra Salt Mine near the Himalayas.

 

However, more research and studies are needed to support these claims.

 

What are the precautions in taking Pink Himalayan Salt?

  • To ensure the salt in its best condition, make sure to keep it in an airtight, covered container located in cool, dry storage.
  • Due to its popularity, the Himalayan Pink Salt now has lower-grade replicas. Make sure that your product comes from Pakistan, which is the one and the only true source of Pink Himalayan Salt. You’ll know if it doesn’t come straight from the source – the product is priced too low. Buying inauthentic versions may bring more harm than good, so make sure you have the real deal.
  • While Pink Himalayan salt contains minerals and brings a lot of benefits to the body, it’s still high in sodium. Don’t go overboard with sprinkling pink salt on your meals and keep within the 2,000 mg of sodium recommended dietary intake in the US (equivalent to 1 teaspoon of fine salt). [7]
  • The amount of sodium in salt depends on form. Finely ground salt is saltier than coarse blocks. A teaspoon of fine salt may have 2,300 mg of sodium while the same amount in coarse crystals is less. Also, remember that Pink Himalayan Salt has less sodium than regular table salt so you may want to take this into consideration too.
  • It's best to check the nutrition label as each Pink Himalayan Salt brands vary in their sodium content. 

Conclusion

Himalayan Pink Salt has many uses and can be a healthy addition to your diet and lifestyle. Compared to regular table salt, the pure, high-grade form of Himalayan Pink Salt brings many benefits to the body. The 84 trace minerals and elements found in the pink salt can aid healing.

Take Pink Himalayan Salt together with electrolytes to avoid dehydration, minimize heat stress, boost performance, and reduce muscle cramping before, during, and after exercise.

 

 




Tina Sendin
Tina Sendin

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