The 10 Main Benefits of Pink Himalayan Salt: Are They Real?
Pink Himalayan salt has been credited with more than 10 benefits. Some even state it's a superfood or healing product. What does the scientific evidence say about it? Is it as good as it seems?
Pink Himalayan salt is a mineral ingredient that comes from the mountains of Pakistan, specifically the Khewra mine. It’s become increasingly popular nowadays, as many have attributed numerous health benefits to it.
In fact, some consider it “the purest salt on the planet”, and claim that it’s much healthier than traditional table salt. But how true is this? Can it actually help improve health? Below, we detail its main properties and answer these questions.
What’s pink Himalayan salt?
As we already mentioned, pink Himalayan salt is a type of pink-colored salt that’s mined from a salt mine that’s near the Himalayas. Its defenders point out that it’s one of the purest salts on the planet, although these claims have been questioned.
In fact, a study published in Science-Based Medicine states that its color is due to impurities. The reason? In its natural state, pure sodium chloride is white. Therefore, it’s ironic to state that it’s the purest salt, when its color says otherwise.
Now, speaking of sodium chloride, we should note that this is the main component of Himalayan salt. Also, it contains about 84 trace minerals, which is precisely why it’s said to be a healthier salt.
However, this has also been questioned, and even denied, by some experts. According to the aforementioned study, many of these minerals are in barely detectable amounts.
Furthermore, to date, only 15 minerals are known to play important roles in biological processes, while seven are considered “possibly essential, but not confirmed”.
Thus, the presence of all these trace minerals isn’t a reason to claim that this salt is “super healthy”. Even some of those it contains, such as mercury, arsenic, lead, and thallium, are actually harmful, although they’re found in this product in minimal quantities.
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Does Himalayan salt have 10 benefits?
Himalayan salt has been credited with 10 benefits since it began to become popular. Its distributors were even in charge of selling it as a “curative” product that can improve health and quality of life.
Although there’s no scientific evidence on these benefits, pink Himalayan salt is said to:
- Fight fluid retention.
- Regulate blood pH.
- Increase nutrient absorption.
- Boost energy levels.
- Improve vascular health.
- Reduce high blood pressure.
- Fight migraines.
- Calm muscle cramps.
- Detoxify the body.
- Promote sleep patterns.
However, nutritionists and scientists have managed to disprove many of these claims.
Ramón de Cangas, dietician-nutritionist, doctor in Molecular and Functional Biology, and member of the Spanish Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, explained to the newspaper El País from Spain that pink Himalayan salt “Provides the same amount of sodium as table salt”.
Therefore, according to this expert, the daily sodium intake recommendations established by the World Health Organization (WHO) are applicable. In other words, as with traditional salt, you shouldn’t consume more than five grams per day, that is, the equivalent of a teaspoon of coffee.
Excessively consuming this salt, like any other source of sodium, has a series of health risks beyond high blood pressure, as a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
A matter of marketing
Despite the popularity of pink Himayalan salt and its supposed benefits, no evidence shows that it’s healthier than normal table salt. There’s also no complete guarantee of its “purity” and it’s popular mostly due to marketing, not science.
Therefore, investing in this type of salt can entail more expenses than benefits. It’s much more expensive than traditional salt and should be consumed with caution.