It’s true. Salt is not just salt because there are many different types of salts out there and which one you use will affect your health and taste of your food. Most people use salt in their cooking to enhance the flavour of their food. But there are so many options out there that usually, most people go straight for the granulated table salt or iodized salt, but the ones that are most commonly bought in stores are not the ones that are the best to use. Yes, they are cheaper to buy, but that is because they are more easily processed in manufacturing plants. Here are is a list of the most common types of salts and the affects each one has on your health. At the end, I will tell you which two I like best and why. Also, during the description, I will refer to the doshas, vata, pitta, and kapha. Click here for more information about these three energies according to Ayurveda.
Sea Salt ~ This particular salt is commonly available in every grocery store. It works as a mild laxative, contains magnesium chloride, potassium chloride and other alkaline properties. Sea salt enhances flavours of your food, but it slows down digestion because it increases Kapha and the properties of sea salt is heavy and thus making it hard to digest. Sea salt is also not recommended for those with high blood pressure, heart disease, or those with weak digestive systems.
Rock Salt ~ This kind is light, unctuous, and cooling for the body. It is excellent for the eyes, helps wounds to heal, is full of naturally occurring minerals, good for arthritis, and rheumatism, reduces swelling of lymph glands, is good for the heart, and is recommended for those with high blood pressure. Rock salt should not be taken on its own and is not recommended for those who have urinary infections.
A common home remedy used for sore throats is gargling with salt and turmeric in hot water. The best salt to use for this home remedy is rock salt.
Black Salt ~ Black salt is an intense taste because it is super sharp and salty in taste. However, black salt is the best for digestion because it dissolves ama (Sanskrit for undigested impurities in the body). Black salt does not need to be cooked, but can be used in cooking. It stimulates your appetite, improves circulation, reduces abdominal pain due to indigestion, works as a milk laxative, and is excellent for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and parasites.
Granulated Table Salt ~ This type of salt forms as small cubic crystals, are the densest, and take the longest to dissolve. Table salts usually contain artificial additives so that the crystals won’t absorb moisture and stick to each other. These additives include aluminium and silicon compounds of sodium and calcium, and silicon dioxide (the material of glass and ceramics). Other compounds, such as humectants may also be added in addition to these additives to prevent excessive drying and caking. Most manufacturers will find loop holes so that they do not have to label each additive onto the nutrition label.
Iodised Salt ~ Many table salts and sea salts are often fortified with potassium iodide to help prevent iodine deficiencies. Iodized salt has been processed and may also contain traces of sodium carbonate or thiosulfate and sugar because iodide is sensitive to acidity. And yes, it is true that the type of salt you consume can and may affect any acidity, heartburn, acid reflux, or any other type of indigestion you may be experiencing.
Unrefined Sea Salt ~ Unrefined sea salts are minimally processed and only harvested when the salt is ready. The making of unrefined sea salt can take up to five years because it consists of a slow progressive concentration of the sea water. Unrefined sea salt is washed of impurities from its surface, but no other processing is occurred and thus it includes some naturally occurring minerals such as magnesium chloride, sulphate, and calcium sulphate. Unrefined sea salt is usually whitish/greyish in color and is not as refined or smooth in texture. Unrefined sea salt contains all the benefits of sea salt that were stated above, but its also more therapeutic because it is more pure and is easier to digest.
These are just a few types of salts that are available out there. The list continues and includes kosher salt, flake salt, sodium sulphate, red Hawaiian salts, and the list goes on. Some salts are more favourable for people over other salts and depends on your body type. My favourite salts are rock salt and unrefined sea salt because of how natural, pure, and therapeutic they are.