Sea salt, Himalayan salt, Bamboo salt—if you are health conscious, you may wonder, what is the healthiest salt to use? Here's what you should know about salt and what's considered to be the healthiest salt on earth.
What to Know About Healthy Salts
Consuming salt is essential for fluid and electrolyte balance. In addition, salt plays a key role in conducting nerve impulses and muscle contraction and relaxation. However, not all salts are the same. Some have a positive effect on your health, while others can be detrimental. The best salts for your health should have minerals and be toxin-free:
Table salt vs. naturally occurring mineral salt
"Table salt" is a highly processed form of sodium called sodium chloride. Table salt is created by taking natural salt and heating it at 1200° Fahrenheit. Once the salt is heated up to this temperature, it starts to lose important elements and minerals that are necessary for maintaining proper hydration and an adequate sodium-potassium ratio. This causes water retention and has a negative affect on immune and hormone function. Natural salt's mineral concentration also help us digest and assimilate the foods we eat to maximize their nutritional value. Ultimately, table salt is the reason salt gets a bad rep. Excessive intake is associated with (and even partially causes) chronic health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Most salts are contaminated with toxins. Table salts, for instance, often contain added chemicals, like manufactured forms of sodium solo-co-aluminate, iodide, sodium bicarbonate, fluoride, anti-caking agents, toxic amounts of potassium iodide, and aluminum derivatives. Other potential additives include sugar and MSG (mono-sodium-glutamate). Table salt has also been bleached white. Although more natural forms of salt, such as Himalayan salt and Celtic sea salt are better for you, these salts often contain toxins such as microplastics and heavy metals. A new report by researchers in South Korea and Greenpeace East Asia shows that microplastics — tiny plastic particles of polypropylene, polyethylene, nylon, and other synthetic materials— are found in 90 percent of commercial sea salt brands. Moreover, a recent Australian study found heavy metals like aluminum, cadmium, and lead in 31 commercial pink salts.
Bamboo Salt, The Healthiest Salt
So, is it possible to find a natural sea salt that's rich in minerals yet free of toxins? Yes! The answer is bamboo salt. Bamboo salt has been made in Korea for centuries by Buddhist monks as a culinary staple and medicinal remedy. It's crafted from hand-harvested sea salt gathered off the Western Korean coast. The salt is then sun-dried and deposited into 3-year-old bamboo pillars and sealed with red clay collected from deep in the Korean mountains. The bamboo pillars are placed in an iron kiln and roasted over a pinewood fire at 1472°F for 8 to 15 hours. At this temperature, heavy metals, microplastics, and other harmful compounds are evaporated. Meanwhile, the mineral-rich bamboo stalks infuse the salt with 70+ trace minerals, like sulpur, and other health-enhancing properties. This process is repeated 1 to 9 times. With each firing, the salt’s purity, alkalinity, mineral content, therapeutic properties, and sulphur content increases.
An alkaline salt
Besides being toxin-free and having a high mineral concentration, Korean bamboo salt is uniquely different than other salts due to its alkalinity. Table salt, for instance, has a neutral pH of 7, while 9x roasted purple bamboo salt has a pH of 11.5. Why does this matter? Tipping one’s pH scale in the direction of alkalinity is desirable for most people. Many foods and beverages commonly consumed are acidic in nature—such as sugar, processed grains, meats, highly processed foods, and soda. Having a biological environment that is chronically acidic can put you at risk for health conditions such as weakened immune system, osteoporosis, arthritis, kidney stones, and fungal infections. Therefore, including alkalizing salts in one’s diet is a way to alkalize foods and edge the pH balance toward alkaline.
Bamboo salt is the healthiest salt on earth because it is free of toxins such as microplastics, rich in minerals, and highly alkaline. More and more studies are also supporting bamboo salt's immense healing potential. Interested in buying some? PIOR Living will be introducing authentic bamboo salt soon!
Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher.