A friend of mine recently put me onto pink Himalayan salt, with the simple recommendation that "it's actually good for you". I like salt, and I love pink - sold. But being the information fiend that I am, I had to further investigate this claim with a little reading. So, is this just another food fad or is there substance to pink Himalayan salt beyond its exotic name and rosy hue?
According to this read, pink Himalayan salts "are one of the world's most potent and powerful hidden secrets... prized for its healing and restorative powers". The salts are a pure substance sourced from the Himalayan mountains and have a supposed list of health benefits including the following:
- 84 minerals and bio compounds
- Used to effectively detoxify the human body
- Lowers blood pressure
- Relaxes muscles and mind due to its ability to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream
- Used to treat sinus issues and other respiratory conditions including asthma
- Improves sleep
- Balances the body's acidity and alkaline levels
- Clears and heals arteries
Why might pink salt be superior to ordinary table salt? According to this post, "commercial refined salt is not only stripped of all its minerals, besides sodium and chloride, but is also chemically cleaned, bleached and heated at unnecessary high temperatures. In addition, it is treated with anti-caking agents... [that] also prevent dissolving within our system leading to build up and then deposit in organs and tissues, causing severe health problems. Finally, the iodine that is added into salt is usually synthetic which is difficult for your body to process properly."
While that all sounds convincing, there are just as many articles that claim the Himalayan pink salt hype is bogus, and definitely a fad. This health blog says that the quantity of extra minerals in pink salt are too small to count, and that at the end of the day, it's all salt (this blog does not like salt).
This site claims that pink Himalayan salt is unusually high in fluoride and that this is damaging to your health; it labels the emergence of pink Himalayan salts as a scam, but it does talk about the various benefits of different varieties of salts.
Damn. I really liked my pink salt grinder. You know, my parents were never huge salt consumers, I think I picked up the habit of adding a sprinkling of salt to my dinner (especially my peas) from my Nanna. She definitely didn't have pink salt, and if you'd asked her what a superfood was she might have said that it was a really good baked potato?
At the end of the day, I feel like there is something to be said for the health benefits of different types of salts, including the way these salts have been treated before reaching the supermarket. But I also believe that for something that I consume in moderation, it's probably going to be neither here not there at the end of the day (or at least until they make up their minds). If you like the look of the pink Himalayan, join the club, but otherwise, I don't think a light sprinkle of the Black & Gold is going to send you early to the grave.