Sea salt is a generalized term that usually refers to any salt derived directly from an ocean or sea. It is mined through channeling open ocean water to large clay pots and letting the wind and sun evaporate it naturally over time. Each region of the world has unique salts with different compositions. Fine sea salts are those that have high amounts of minerals like sodium, calcium and magnesium and are most commonly harvested from Western Europe, North America, South East Asia and Western Africa.
Most sea salts have a very coarse texture that makes it great for grilling or baking. It has a slight grain that makes it more absorbent than other salts such as fine table salt. However, many varieties taste better when it is processed and treated so that it can be made more hygienic and able to retain the mineral content of natural sea salt. This process is known as sea salt enhancement and is becoming increasingly popular as new fine sea salt varieties are discovered. Although this process does increase the price of sea salt, many chefs love the new flavor. It’s worth it.
Another benefit of fine sea salt is that it retains more of its original crystal structure, especially in salty conditions. Crystal salt is still a fine, crystalline salt but the fine crystals lock together making the salt more fine grained. As fine crystals lock together sea salt becomes less porous and its benefits become even more pronounced in comparison to coarse crystals. This means that sea salt has its own set of specific health benefits. It can help to strengthen your immune system, stimulate blood circulation, and increase the flow of oxygen through blood vessels.
Another important aspect of fine sea salt is that it usually has a high concentration of trace minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Trace minerals are important for our body’s general health and these include magnesium which is important for muscle and nerve function and bone growth and strength. Calcium on the other hand is important for smooth, soft tissue development and helps to prevent osteoporosis. Both of these minerals are important in our diet and eating a diet without them is like eating blind. However by including sea salt in your diet we can reinforce the minerals in our diet and prevent mineral deficiencies and other health issues.
The fine crystals of sea salt do not need to be replaced because they are broken down inside the sea salt. Instead what happens is that the larger chains of sodium chloride are broken down into smaller ones, which then become absorbed into the bloodstream. So the more sodium chloride contained in the seawater the better. This process is known as brine withdrawal and is one of the reasons why sea salt is considered healthy.
While brine withdrawal happens naturally within the sea salt, there is no reason that we need to keep doing it. We could simply follow the eating habits of our ancestors who would eat a wide range of vegetables and fruits, but we have decided to eat a diet rich in sea salt and table salt. Why? Because our food contains less trace amounts of these trace minerals. Sea salt contains around 40 trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium and iodine, while table salt has none of these essential minerals in its composition.
So how does all this have an effect on us? If we are going to consume food we should take a supplement rich in these minerals to ensure that we are getting enough of them to help with maintaining our health. Unfortunately, our modern diet does not provide us with enough sea salt and table salt to meet our dietary requirements and so we become deficient in these essential mineral. As a result we suffer the symptoms of chronic disease such as hypertension, obesity, coronary heart disease, stroke, arthritis and colon cancer. All of these illnesses are caused by mineral deficiencies and can be avoided by consuming a nutritious diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
A good way to improve your taste in salt is to learn how to make sea salt yourself. Recipes for sea salt can be found all over the Internet and you can make a great tasting alternative to regular table salt. Once you have discovered how to make it yourself, you will be able to enjoy the rich taste of sea salt from recipes that you create yourself at home. The taste of regular salt diminishes over time and when you make your own you get to enjoy the unique taste of natural evaporated seawater. By removing the chemicals and additives in regular salt and replacing them with something better, you can improve your taste and reap the health benefits of trace minerals.