Salt is an essential nutrient to animal (human) life. It’s present in the tissues and cells of our bodies and facilitates muscle contractions, nutrient transport to cells, and conducts nerve impulses. It extracts excess acidity from inside cells, including brain cells. Salt is vital for the kidneys to clear excess acidity and pass that acidity to the urine. There are other benefits and claims attributed to salt. But are all salts equal?
The two forms of salt to be discussed are common table (iodized) salt and natural grey sea salt. So what are the differences and the pluses and minuses of them?
Table salt is normally rock salt that is mined, heat blasted, sometimes chemically treated (bleached for whiteness), and then ant-caking agents (calcium silicate) and iodine are added to it. These additives could be up to 15% of regular table salt. This processed salt can cause bloating and water retention which can put the body’s systems out of balance. The added iodines were introduced to counter the incidences of diseases related to iodine deficiencies, specifically goiter. 150 micrograms is the daily requirement of a human being. One teaspoon of iodized salt contains 400 micrograms. Because of it’s fine grain due to processing, one teaspoon of table salt has more salt than a tablespoon of natural sea salt.
In natural sea salt, the minerals retain some moisture and are grey in color. Many salts labeled “Sea Salt” are washed and boiled which strips them of minerals and trace elements. If your sea salt is grey in color, it has not been processed and will have the correct balance of sodium and chloride as well as contain calcium, potassium, and other trace elements and nutrients. If your sea salt is white in color and free flowing, it’s been processed and most likely stripped. Natural grey will not pour like table salt because of its moisture content.
If the ONLY plus to table salt is the added iodine content, consider this: I just looked at the label of a popular multivitamin and it lists an iodine content of 150 micrograms. My advice is to try and use natural grey sea salt for all of the benefits it can provide and get your iodine from a vitamin supplement to avoid the drawbacks of regular table salt.