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What is Salt

By Edited Apr 19, 2014 1 2

How Salt is Obtained and What it Contains

Benefits of Salt

Salt is an essential part of your diet, for without it your body would not be able to function properly. In addition, it helps to bring out the flavours of your food so that your taste buds can experience more flavor.  Another good use for it is that is helps to preserve processed foods.

It is made up of mainly sodium and chloride, but contains other ingredients as well. Sea salt is about 98% sodium and chloride and 2% essential minerals. Table salt is roughly about 99.9% sodium and chloride, and the other .01% is made up of additional ingredients such as iodine, stabilizers and anti-caking agents.

How is it Obtained

Sea Salt. Sea salt is obtained by allowing sea waters to evaporate naturally from the sun. As the water evaporates the salt and minerals remain behind and are then raked into piles. It is usually sold as is without any processing, and contains many trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, iodine and zinc. Sea salt will usually be moist, or it will clump in the shaker as it does not contain any anti-clumping agents.

When sea salt is refined it can contain similar ingredients as regular table salt making it really not much different. Depending how heavily it is processed, it may also contain additional iodine and anti-clumping agents. When these agents are added, sugar is needed to neutralize the bitterness of the anti-clumping agents. 

Table Salt. Table salt is obtained from underground salt mines as well as sea waters. Table salt is heavily processed and refined. It is stripped of all minerals and then iodine and other ingredients are added such as stabilizers, sugars and anti-clumping agents.

How To Obtain Salt Naturally

Both sea salt and table salt have many health benefits to offer when taken in moderation. The best way to obtain your salt, however, is from natural foods, such as dark green vegetables, sea vegetables and other plant-based foods. These salts are easily absorbed into your body and will not build up and cause health problems such as those found in heavily processed foods.

The Health Benefits

Maintain Fluid Levels. Salt is essential in helping your body to maintain healthy fluid levels. Thus it can help with water retention.

Muscle Regulation. It can also help to prevent muscle spasms and cramping. The heart is a muscle, and salt helps it to maintain a healthy rhythm.

Strong bones. Over 25% of the body's salt is in the bones, where it helps them to remain strong and firm.

Depression. Salt is known to help relieve the symptoms of depression by helping to maintain the levels of serotonin and melatonin in your body. These are essential hormones that help you to feel good and sleep better at night.


Nov 8, 2010 8:48am
Good article. I didn't know that salt can help relieve symptoms of depression. Thanks for sharing.
Nov 9, 2010 11:18am
It is a great substitute for lithium, and it does not have the negative side effects that lithium does.
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