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Americans have long been taught that regularly consuming iodine enriched table salt is necessary for thyroid function. However, as you can see in the section, “Sea Salt vs. Table Salt” below, this isn’t the case. Read on to learn the dangers of table salt and why sea salt is so much better for us.
Sea salt used topically can also be a successful and natural treatment for various ailments. Sea salt scrubs have many benefits ranging from body detoxification to improvement of acne and scarring. Sea salt baths lower the risk of infections and contribute toward overall immunity of the body. See External Benefits of Sea Salt + Sea Salt Types Explained to learn all the benefits of using sea salt externally.
Please remember to consume all salts in moderation. Experts recommend consuming around 1,500-2,300 mg of sodium daily, unless you have certain health problems (e.g. high blood pressure, edema, heart failure, etc.), in which case, you should consult your doctor to see if you should lower your daily intake of sodium.
Rich in Trace Minerals
Sea salt has about 60 trace minerals, and Himalayan Sea Salt has 84 trace minerals. Trace minerals are necessary for optimal health. Trace minerals are micro-nutrients, which means we only need them in small amounts. However, due to nutrient depletion in our soils, we have a difficult time getting enough trace minerals from our diet. Multi-vitamins and multi-mineral supplements on the market are not a good source of all these minerals. Using sea salt with trace minerals can help you recover from minor trace mineral deficiencies.
Sea Salt vs. Table Salt
Table salt is mined from underground deposits and heavily processed, which causes the salt to lose its healthy mineral content. After processing, table salt is made up of 97.5 percent sodium and 2.5 percent additives, including anti-caking chemicals, iodine to prevent goiters, MSG and/or white processed sugar to stabilize iodine, and aluminum derivatives like sodium silico-aluminate.
Table salt producers are allowed to add 18 different food additives to table salt. These additives can cause a myriad of health problems, including leaky gut, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular problems, and chronic disease. Unlike unprocessed salts (like sea salt), table salt causes your body to retain fluids, which can cause health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and gout.
Iodine is added to table salt supposedly to promote healthy thyroid function. However, iodine in table salt can actually cause over-iodination, which can cause thyroid dysfunction! Excess iodine can also cause chronic headaches, nausea, and hormone imbalance.
Sea Salt Types
Note: Sea salt can be refined or unrefined. Unrefined sea salt is best for optimal health.
CELTIC SEA SALT
Celtic Sea Salt is harvested off the northwest coast of France and is great for any salt use.
DEAD SEA SALT
Dead Sea Salt is harvested from the Dead Sea, a salt lake bordered by Israel, Jordan, and Palestine. The Dead Sea is said to have healing and therapeutic properties that are also present in the extracted Dead Sea Salt. These salts are typically applied topically or used in salt baths.
FLAKE SEA SALT
Flake Sea Salt can be from natural or produced sources. This salt has a saltier taste, but is lower in trace minerals than other sea salts.
FLEUR DE SEL OR FLOR DE SAL
Fleur de sel (French) and flor de sal (Portuguese) means “flower of salt.” This salt type forms as a thin crust on seawater’s surface as it evaporates and is added to foods after cooking.
HAWAIIAN SEA SALT
Hawaiian Sea Salt, also called Alaea Sea Salt, is made of natural red volcanic slay (Alaea) added to enrich the salt with iron oxide. This process gives this salt its distinctive red color.
HIMALAYAN SEA SALT
Himalayan Sea Salt comes from ancient beds in Pakistan. This salt is best used to season food and in topical beauty care products and detox baths. Himalayan Sea Salt contains all 84 trace elements in the body.
ITALIAN SEA SALT
Italian Sea Salt is mined from the Mediterranean Sea along the coast of Sicily.
Real Salt is mined from an ancient sea bed in Redmond, Utah. This salt is great for oral and dental health and kills bad breath germs, heals receding and swollen gums, deep cleans gums and teeth, and re-mineralizes teeth. This salt can also be used in detox baths.
If you prefer to use all natural sea salt, then Redmond Real Salt is an excellent choice. Redmond Salt is harvested in Redmond, Utah and is not processed or altered in any way. This salt contains trace minerals, including iodine – not as much as iodized table salt, but Redmond Sea Salt claims it is more readily absorbed than the iodine we find in table salt – and can be found in many grocery stores.
Internal Benefits of Sea Salt
Sea salt provides minerals hormone glands need to communicate and function optimally.
ENCOURAGES HEALTHY WEIGHT + FAST METABOLISM
Studies show that an increase in real salt intake lowers cortisol levels. High cortisol levels stress the body and lead to body inflammation and weight gain. A healthy metabolism allows for adequate detoxification and helps keep excess weight off your body.
GREAT SOURCE OF ELECTROLYTES
Sea salt is a great source of electrolytes, including sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Electrolytes are necessary for good health. A deficiency in electrolytes can cause electrolyte imbalance, which can be a very serious condition and can even be deadly. Symptoms of electrolyte imbalance include muscle aches, spasms, weakness, twitching, convulsions, frequent headaches, heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats, and many more.
IMPROVES BRAIN, MUSCLE + NERVOUS SYSTEM FUNCTION
Sodium is essential for proper brain, muscle, and nervous system function. Sodium is necessary for the transmission of electrical signals in the body. When these electrical signals don’t work as they should, brain, muscle, and nervous system functions also suffer.
Sea salt offers additional benefits to muscle function as a natural remedy to cure aches and pains. Sea salt’s therapeutic qualities relieve muscle cramps, stiffness, and discomfort and enhances muscular strength when sea salt is taken internally or applied externally.
IMPROVES DIGESTION + NUTRIENT ABSORPTION
Salt deficiency can cause digestive problems. When you don’t get adequate amounts of salt in your diet, your body may not produce enough hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach. Your stomach needs to produce proper amounts of acid, in order to be able to carry out digestive functions.
Having enough stomach acid in your stomach is also necessary for nutrient absorption. Without it, your body can’t break down foods well enough to extract and absorb nutrients and minerals like B12, calcium, folate, iron, and zinc. Eating a healthy, nutrient rich diet does not ensure your body is getting all it needs for optimum health – the way your body treats and absorbs these nutrients is also super important.
IMPROVES INSULIN SENSITIVITY
Sea salts help maintain balanced levels of blood sugar and can reduce the body’s dependency on insulin medication.
IMPROVES SLEEP QUALITY
Sea salt baths promote relaxation, which induces more recuperative sleep. Sea salt also prevents excess saliva production that flows out of the mouth during sleep, which keeps your body hydrated.
Sodium and potassium are two electrolytes that work together to keep fluid balanced in your body. Using sea salt daily ensures you have sufficient levels of sodium in your body and promotes the correct ratio of sodium to potassium. Sea salt also provides chloride, which is another mineral necessary for fluid balance. Please note that too much sodium can cause you to retain water, but too little sodium results in water loss, which can cause dehydration and extreme thirst.
Sea salt promotes healthy blood pressure and helps normalize irregular heartbeats, which can prevent the occurrence of various cardiac disorders.
PROMOTES DENTAL HEALTH
Salt is a natural antiseptic and naturally heals. Dentists have long recommended swishing with salt after tooth removal and other dental work to heal gums quickly. Sea salt also helps heal receding, bleeding, and swollen gums, treats ulcers, relieves sore throats, kills bad breath germs, and re-mineralizes teeth.
PROMOTES HEALING + PURIFICATION OF THE BODY
Sea salt baths are believed to have purifying qualities. Sea salt baths lower the risk of infections and contribute toward overall immunity of the body.
RELIEVES RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS SYMPTOMS
Studies have shown that Dead Sea Salt is effective in the treatment of Rheumatologic Conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis), and patients can feel improvements for weeks. Dead Sea Salt baths are anti-inflammatory and are far more beneficial for affected people than normal salt baths.
Dead Sea Salt’s anti-inflammatory effects make treating rhinosinusitis, nasal allergies, and other respiratory ailments with sea salt a natural and healthy alternative to conventional treatments like nasal steroids, which have side effects, such as inflammation that can cause mucus secretion. The mineral content in Dead Sea Salt alleviates swelling and congestion. Nasal irrigation and sprays using sea salt showed better relief than using normal saline solution.
What do you think about using sea salt for its health benefits? I haven’t used table salt for ages, since I found out that the added iodine may be hurting my thyroid (I have an autoimmune thyroid disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis). Consuming unrefined sea salt also goes hand in hand with my desire to live my best life, naturally.
I would love to hear from you!
Please share below what you think of sea salt vs. table salt!