Sea salt is table salt, which is made by the spontaneous evaporation of water during the process of evaporation. It's most common use is for preserving food, cooking, cosmetics, baking, and as a seasoning on food. It's also known as solar sea salt, red sea salt, or marine salt. As of late, it's increasing popularity as an alternative natural mineral. Like many other minerals, its accessibility as a supplement has increased dramatically.
The mineral and chemical properties of sea salt are very diverse and there are many varieties to choose from. Some varieties are made from organic materials, like seaweeds or seaweed, whereas others are produced from metallic salts. Regardless, of the material it's derived from, each variety holds a wide variety of mineral and chemical properties. It's a non-toxic mineral, which means it's safe for human consumption. As an added bonus, sea salt does not contain any calories, fat, or cholesterol.
Salt contains a range of different minerals, including calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, magnesium, calcium carbonate, sodium, phosphorus, zinc, and chloride. Some table salt contain more minerals than others. For instance, sea salt produced from evaporated ocean water contains more calcium carbonate and magnesium than sea salt obtained from freshwater sources. One type of sea salt is commonly known as "bleached sea salt," because of its high degree of purity. Bleaching happens when minerals in seawater react with light to produce a white, translucent salt with the same characteristics as sea salt (i.e., its fine grain, and ability to absorb heat).
Besides the many mineral and chemical benefits, sea salt also provides a number of health benefits. It can help regulate blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels, and boost immunity. It's also been shown to have antioxidant properties meaning it helps prevent cancer and other diseases. One study found that regular consumption of sea salt significantly reduced the risk of blood clots.
It has long been known that sea salt enhances the taste and odor. New scientific studies are adding to the evidence that sea salt does in fact have these extra benefits as well. A research project funded by the National Institute of Health looked at the impact on the taste and odor of a number of different mixtures of sea salts. The scientists found that people who regularly consume sea salt were less likely to experience any changes in their individual olfactory perceptions. These findings are important because it means that the taste and smell of sea salt may not be as important to us as it is to the people who live near the ocean.
Another of the many benefits of sea salt comes from the fact that it makes a good snack. I'm not sure if it's the sodium or the mineral content but eating sea salt brings a salty sensation to my palette. It almost makes me feel like I've just come back from the beach, and I couldn't be happier. It's difficult to eat foods that are so delicious without tasting like sea salt.
Finally, there are some serious health benefits to be had from sea salt. Scientific studies are showing that sea salt is an excellent source of essential electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium. Because the mineral content of the salt varies depending on where it is mined, the amount of sodium and potassium varies as well. If you're trying to stay healthy, it's probably best to eat your sea salt straight from the source.
It may seem like sea salt seems like a silly thing to add to your diet. But in reality, it provides a wealth of health benefits that we weren't even aware of before. So instead of simply tossing it in the fridge, think about how sea salt can enrich your life. If you start adding it to your food today, I'm sure you'll enjoy its unique flavor for a long time to come.