Himalayan pink salt is not salt as you know it. Rather, this is a type of salt that originates in the Himalayan mountain ranges across Asia and that has been given a pink hue by lava. Sea salt beds, hundreds of millions of years old, were covered by lava which protected the crystalized salt from modern day pollution. Unearthed today, this is now thought to be the purest form of salt found on Earth; the color being a hint about its particularly rich mineral density.
It’s a nice story sure but we’ve heard similar stories about countless other miracle supplements and ingredients – not all of which stand up to close, scientific scrutiny.
The question we need to ask ourselves then, is can Himalayan pink salt deliver on its promises?
Himalayan pink salt contains 84 different trace minerals and elements. What’s particularly interesting about this is that these are the very same 84 trace minerals found in the human body – including sodium (duh), chloride, calcium, sulphate, potassium and magnesium. Compared with regular salt, there’s less of the sodium but more of everything else.
If you’ve been keeping up-to-date with the latest news in health and nutrition, then you may have heard that salt is no longer the scapegoat it once was. Today, most experts now actually recommend a certain amount of salt intake as part of a healthy diet (1). So the fact you’re getting less ‘actual salt’ is not necessarily anything to write home about but it does also mean you don’t need to worry about sprinkling on the Himalayan variety.
Listing all of the 84 different trace minerals would take a long time but generally, they are thought to offer a number of benefits, including:
- Improved electrolyte balance
- Better hydration
- Reduced muscle cramping
- Strengthened bones
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved nutrient absorption
- Improved circulation
Before You Get Carried Away…
When you hear that Himalayan pink salt can provide all those trace minerals, you might be tempted to think that this means it must necessarily be an amazing ingredient to add to your diet. It sounds like the perfect multimineral tablet… but natural!
The only problem is that all those trace minerals are in miniscule quantities. They’re actually so small as to be pretty much irrelevant to our health. The only way they might be, is if you were to eat huge amounts of it. Which would be expensive, unpleasant and not a good idea.
Because actually, it’s just as well that the minerals in this stuff are so miniscule. Why? Because a fair few of them are actually toxic or radioactive. That includes the likes of radon, which is a radioactive gas that promotes cancer and actually prevents the sale of many homes in affected areas.
Perhaps most damning of all is that there are no reliable studies on the use of Himalayan pink salt demonstrating its purported benefits. As it stands, any proposed benefits are speculative at best.
So in short, don’t believe the hype. It sounds very good on paper but in reality, it is likely just another snake oil product that will cost you money without delivering any real health improvements. Stick to the many foods and supplements that we know are highly beneficial for our health! There’s no shortage of them…