Sea salt has been produced and used since prehistoric times. It is produced by evaporation of seawater or water from saltwater lakes.
Sodium chloride is the major constituent of sea salts. Depending upon the water source, sea salt contains trace minerals and elements. The minerals give color and flavor to the sea salt. It also differs depending upon the coarseness levels.
It is also referred to as bay salt or solar salt. Sea salt is more expensive than table salt, as some people believe that sea salt has better taste and texture than table salt. Sea salt is marketed as more natural and healthy alternative to common salt. Due to presence of natural minerals, sea salt is known to offer more health benefits.
Health Benefits of Sea Salts
In addition to sodium, sea salt contains all the essential natural elements such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iodine. Each of these elements is beneficial for good health. Calcium is necessary for bone formation; iodine is needed for cell metabolism necessary for normal growth. Magnesium is required for adequate cell growth and brain function.
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For certain health conditions, elimination of salt from diet is recommended. But it can be unhealthy, as minerals present in salt are important for proper functioning of nearly all the biological processes. The salty taste and large crystals of sea salts enable you to use less amount of salt in food preparation. It helps to achieve all the health benefits with reduced sodium intake.
Since minerals in sea salt are in proper natural ratio, they help to maintain healthy electrolyte balance in the body. This balance supports transmission of information between nerve cells and brain. It helps to improve blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. Additionally, sea salts help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the acidic condition of kidneys from body fluids.
Sea salt, when taken with food, can stimulate the salivary glands, which is important initial stage in the process of digestion. Due to its unique flavor, sea salt helps to create digestive juices, which fastens digestion process.
Sea salt is a great aid for healthy skin. Add ½ cup of sea salt to your warm bathwater. Allow it to soak for about 20 minutes. It gives soothing effect to skin and body. Sea salts remove toxins from your skin. Sea salts, when combined with essential oils like chamomile, lavender or eucalyptus and added to warm bathwater, make a great remedy to relax and soothe your skin.
Sea salt can be an excellent remedy to treat acne. Due to sulfur content, sea salt helps to synthesize oxygen and makes the skin to breathe. Potassium in sea salts maintains the water balance for cell metabolism and also stimulates absorption of nutrients. Calcium in sea salt cleans the skin pores, while magnesium removes toxins and dirt from the skin. Due to these properties, sea salt is used in various products such as soaps, cleansers, toners and masks to get rid of acne. Use of sea salt also helps to relieve skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Sea salt contains small amount of potassium, which is necessary for proper muscle functions. Sea salt also helps to absorb potassium better from other foods. Thus, sea salt helps effectively to prevent muscle pain, cramps and spasms.
Sea salt is found to be effective in treating different types of depression. It helps to preserve two important hormones, melatonin and serotonin, which helps you to feel relaxed and better deal with stress.
Sea salt, when taken with water, can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure. It also helps to regulate heart beats. In this way, sea salts help to minimize the risk of heart attack, atherosclerosis and stroke.
Sea salt is beneficial in decreasing inflammation in the respiratory tract. It slows down the production of phlegm and eases breathing. Sprinkling sea water on the tongue after drinking a glassful of water can be as beneficial as using inhaler.
You may replace common salt with healthy sea salt in your daily diet and enjoy its different flavor as well as its unique health benefits.
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