“Salt is also a big issue and, over time, a high-salt diet is associated with high blood pressure.”
The human body needs salt, and it gives the food the final tasty note. Even though table salt (sodium chloride) is the most common on the market, there are healthier and tastier salt alternatives.
DESIblitz discovers five desi salts that are aesthetically appealing, and healthier than table salt.
Salt is a magnificent mineral that the human body requires for healthy functioning.
All salts consist of chemical element sodium, which is necessary for blood circulation and regulation of body water. Sodium also helps the organism to absorb nutrients.
Furthermore, table salt has iodine, which is a crucial nutrient for thyroid functioning.
However, table salt goes through heavy processing and contains additives to prevent clumping.
Throughout the processing, it loses essential minerals that natural Kala Namak and Sendha Namak contain.
If taken in excess, table salt can be very health damaging.
Why is Salt Bad for You
Too much salt increases sodium in one’s blood. The high amount of sodium can be especially dangerous for diabetics.
“Salt is also a big issue and, over time, a high-salt diet is associated with high blood pressure.”
Dr Sandy Gupta, a consultant cardiologist for NHS says in the interview.
Other health problems caused by excessive amounts of it in our nutrition are thyroid problems, paralysis and impotence.
Due to their body shape, the South Asian population is more prone to the risk of heart diseases.
Fat around the middle is common in South Asian body type.
That extra fat increases the insulin production to stabilise blood sugar and creates risk for type 2 diabetes.
They are diagnosed with diabetes type 2 twice more often than Caucasians.
Traditional South Asian diet can potentially increase the risk if consumed too much. There is a lot of fried food high in salt, such as samosas.
Salt is added to most of the processed foods. In our daily diet, salt can be found around 75 % in processed foods.
Therefore, you should keep an eye on the amount of bread, cereals and prepared meals that you consume.
FSA (Food Standards Agency) found that 20% of salt intake is added at home during cooking or seasoning meals.
NHS suggests to look at food labels and buy food lower in salts.
The recommended daily intake for adults is maximally 6 g of salt or 2.4 g of sodium per day. That equals one teaspoon.
You can even download a Food Scanner app and calculate the amount of sugar, salt and saturated fat in your food. You merely have to scan the barcode.
To be healthier, you should limit the salt intake while cooking and seasoning prepared meals.
DESIblitz offers you salt alternatives that will enrich the specific tastes of South Asian cuisine and will boost your health.
Indian Black Salt (Kala Namak)
Other names for Kala Namak are Sulemani Namak, Bit Lobon and Kala Noon. It is rock salt made out of South Asian condiment, containing mostly sodium chloride.
The sulphur elements in the Kala Namak are responsible for its distinctive smell, and savoury taste.
Iron sulphide and other minerals give it a magical dark violet shade. The black crystals are ground into pink powder during production.
Black Salt has a sulphurous taste similar to hard-boiled egg yolks. It is best to use with yoghurts, chutneys and meals such as Pani Puri and cool drinks like jaleera.
It is advisable to store the black salt in wooden or ceramic containers and grind it with a ceramic grinder. Otherwise, it reacts with metal that changes its chemical structure.
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Research reports that consuming black salt daily can significantly improve constipation without irritating your stomach.
In table 2 with ion percentages, Kala Namak has 3% of iron. Iron is an essential mineral in the blood for life energy and better athletic performance.
Because of its iron content, people use black salt for anemia.
“Ordinary table salt had a calcium level of 218 µg/g. Iron levels ranged from 2 to 500 µg/g with the highest level of 518 µg/g in the Kala Namak Black Mineral Salt”
according to the Analysis of Gourmet Salts for the Presence of Heavy Metals.
In Ayurvedic medicine, Kala Namak is used as a cooling spice and a digestive medicine to relieve gasses and heartburn.
Furthermore, black salt is used in many anti-obesity products such as Lavana tail.
Switching to black salt can help you with weightless. However, it still has to be consumed in small amounts.
Unlike many cosmetical products, black salt doesn’t contain artificial chemicals, so it helps with skin problems. Adding some black salt to warm water in a bath can help with athlete’s foot, cracked or swollen feet.
Due to many natural minerals, black salt can be used as a natural medicine for hair growth and split ends.
Give yourself a luxurious treatment and heal your hair dandruff with a mixture of tomato juice and black salt. Rub it into your hair daily.
Furthermore, rub a bit of black salt into your face while taking off your makeup to remove dry skin cells.
Most importantly, black salt is beneficial for diabetics because it doesn’t increase sugar levels in the blood. Therefore, the need for insulin intake is lower.
However, taking black salt in excess is not advised for anyone, especially for people with high blood pressure.
Its sodium content of 98 % is not much different from the white salt, which is 100 %.
- Amazon Wholefood Earth Fine Kala Namak Himalayan Black Salt 500 g ~ £3.16
Pink Salt (Himalayan Rock Salt – Sendha Namak)
Pink salt is a rock salt from Punjab, Pakistan near Himalaya. It comes from Khewra Salt Mine, one of the biggest and oldest salt mines in the world.
It contains 98 % of sodium chloride, just like Kala Namak.
Central mineral sodium in Pink Salt is essential to the human body in moderate amounts.
It balances out fluids in the body and prevents dehydration and low blood pressure. Moreover, it helps with contracting and relaxing muscles and sends impulses to the nervous system.
If you consume a pinch of salt with water in the morning it can boost your energy.
However, Sendha Namak is considered more natural than table salt. That is because it is not chemically refined with additives such as sodium aluminosilicate or magnesium carbonate like table salt.
Another difference of pink salt is that it’s harvested manually, and therefore it keeps minerals that white salt doesn’t have.
Sendha Namak contains minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium, so it has healing properties and helps with sore muscles. The minerals make it pink and healthier than white table salt.
“It contains 84 out of the 92 trace elements required by the body including potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, copper and so on. It’s a superior salt, according to Ayurveda,” says Dr Ashutosh Gautam.
Using it as a bath salt can help with muscle fibre and improve skin ailments.
Mineral potassium in pink salt balances out the sodium absorption.
Therefore, sodium from Himalayan pink salt doesn’t raise blood pressure.
The minerals also contribute to the taste of pink salt, which is saltier than in white salt. That can be helpful in reducing the amount of salt intake in your organism.
Consequently, it takes less amount of salt to achieve a salty taste. Take this into account while seasoning food.
However, coarsely ground pink salt contains less sodium than finely ground powder, so consider that as well while cooking.
It can be used for cooking sauces and marinades and can be added to already prepared food. Large blocks of pink salt are sometimes used as a cooking surface.
Pink salt can be used for beautiful lava lamps and candleholders.
Furthermore, people go into pink salt caves to improve their respiratory systems.
- Sainsbury’s Jamie Oliver Pink Salt Grinder 90 g ~ £3.00
- Whole Foods Online Himalayan Rose Pink Salt Coarse 1 kg ~ £4.97
- Waitrose & Partners Bart Himalayan Pink Salt 90 g ~ £ 3.99
Celery salt is a mixture of ground celery or lovage seeds and table or sea salt. Sea salt can intensify and bring out citrus and herbal taste of celery.
Celery is an ancient medicinal herb used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine.
Beneficial nutrients contained in celery seeds are minerals manganese, iron and calcium, and essential oils limonene and pinene.
Two teaspoons of celery salt can satisfy the daily need of your organism for manganese.
Celery salt also contains a 20 % of a daily iron requirement and 5 % calcium.
Iron prevents anaemia, while calcium aids the bone health and functioning of muscle and nerve system. Manganese is good for metabolism and blood coagulation.
Limonene functions as an antioxidant, while pinene has anti-cancer and antibiotic features.
Celery seeds also help in treating high cholesterol and in lowering the high blood pressure.
Celery contains phthalides that lower blood pressure. They are organic chemical compounds that soften the tissues of the artery walls and encourage the blood flow.
Sodium in celery salt can cause water retention. Celery seeds help to balance the effects of sodium and help clear the organism of water.
Celery seeds also function as a diuretic that boosts urine production.
The celery salt can be a great addition to meat. It can be mixed in a marinade combined with garlic powder, ginger, paprika and black pepper.
It also intensifies the taste of vegetable juices.
- Tesco Celery Salt 75 g ~ £0.85
- Sainsbury’s Celery Salt 78 g ~ £1.00
- Just Ingredients Online Celery Salt 100 g ~ £2.19
Garlic salt is made with one part of ground garlic powder and three parts of table salt.
It helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL). High level of LDL narrows down arteries and can cause atherosclerosis.
So, in the long run, garlic prevents cardiovascular disease.
Garlic salt is helpful for diabetics because it naturally rises and levels out insulin levels in the blood. That helps to control high blood sugar and diabetes.
At the same time, garlic salt slows down blood flow and helps to decrease blood pressure. That is why it is helpful for hypertensive patients.
Sylvie Tremblay, MSc in molecular and cellular biology advises using garlic to fight cancer if you have it in your family.
She notes that garlic boosted immunity of patients with severe cancer and helped prevent colon cancer of healthy patients.
- Sainsbury’s Cornish Sea Salt Co Garlic Sea Salt 55 g ~ £1.50
- Tesco Garlic Salt 90 g ~ £0.80
- ASDA Garlic Salt 85 g ~ £ 0.76
Persian Blue Salt
Persian Blue Salt is unique and natural, without additives, is gluten-free and has an unlimited shelf life.
It is organic and made out of natural stone.
As one of the rarest salts in the world, it is a real privilege to use it.
Persian Blue Salt originates from Iran. It is also produced in Pakistan at Sian Enterprises.
They are one of the largest producers of Himalayan Crystal Salt.
Persian Blue Salt is formed out of fossilisation of crystals formed in Precambrian seas 100 million years ago.
The magically blue salt was formed in the process of evaporation of inland seas and ponds.
It is extracted from the mountains of the Semnan province in Northern Iran and the Ergourz mountain range.
Sylvinite, a potassium mineral found only in the healthiest salts makes this salt sapphire blue.
However, the colour is mainly the effect of the compressed molecular structure that refracts the light creating the blue reflection.
Persian Blue Salt is high in potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium.
Potassium helps regulate water balance, acidity levels, and blood pressure in the body.
The taste is sweet and slightly lemony. Therefore, Persian blue salt can reduce the acidity of the food.
It is mainly used on finished dishes to enhance the flavour and as decoration.
It is very dry so it can be ground. It enriches the taste of fish, tomato sauce and salad and other dishes.
Persian Blue Salt is also great on fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Sous Chef Online Blue Salt 100 g ~ £ 5.95
- Amazon Persian Blue Salt 200 g ~ £ 5.69
There are benefits of table salt, but it can be health damaging and dangerous for diabetics if consumed excessively.
During processing, it loses its important elements.
Therefore, we presented five organic salts that benefit the human body due to minerals that they retain.
They can all be used in food to magnify flavours.
Black and pink salt boost organism with calcium, magnesium, iron and other elements they house.
Celery salt and garlic salt have healing features such as increasing blood flow. They are therefore better for diabetics than regular table salt.
Persian salt is one of the rarest salts, and has a nutritive content, primarily due to potassium.
Ultimately, every salt contains sodium, and too much of it can be detrimental to one’s health.
It is important to remember that these Desi salt alternatives will benefit you only if consumed in moderate amounts.
Not only that these Desi salt alternatives are healthier than table salt, but they are also incredibly tasty. So why not make the switch today?