Common Salt is one of the most important ingredients of any meal. It is also called sodium chloride and is used for seasoning purposes. Salt is very important for our body and should be used appropriately. Too much salt or too less salt can harm the body. So, let us understand how much salt is actually healthy for the body and also the Health Benefits Of Salt.
Doctors recommend a maximum of 6 grams of salt i.e. approx 1 teaspoon of salt per day. Now, remember, many food products like processed foods, pickles, papads, bread, tomato ketchup, mayonnaise etc already have a high salt content. Many food labels mention the sodium content, as it is important to label the ingredients correctly. Hence it is good to check the sodium content when buying food. At the same time, it is important to understand that a low intake of salt leads to many health issues. The salt water ratio is critical for maintaining the metabolic rate of the body.
Salt is obtained by 2 main methods – One is by the direct evaporation of seawater and the other is by mining salt from the earth. Salt used for cooking is mainly obtained from the evaporation of seawater and table salt is obtained from mining.
Generally, we use table salt which is refined salt or sea salt which is unrefined salt. We also use iodized salt for home consumption. Other than home consumption, salt is used as a food preservative in tanning, bleaching, soap making and in many other industries.
The different types of salts are listed below :
- Iodised Salt.
This type of table salt consists of iodine and is considered beneficial, especially for people suffering from thyroid.
- Black Salt.
This is called “Kala Namak” in India and is mostly used in pickles or in some types of cooking. It has a strong sulphuric flavor.
- Rock Salt.
This salt has crystals which helps in bringing down the freezing point and so it mostly used in ice-creams.
- Kosher Salt.
Kosher salt is mostly used by Jewish people in their cooking. It is a free coarse-grained salt which has a softer flavor than table salt.
Health Benefits Of Salt
Let us look at some of the top health benefits of Salt.
1. Salt helps in preventing iodine deficiency.
Iodine is very important for the body, but the body does not produce iodine naturally. Therefore an adequate amount of iodized salt in your cooking can help in preventing thyroid etc. It is important to take an appropriate amount of iodine in your diet for the all-around brain and bone development of the body. Children who are iodine deficient suffer from mental retardation.
2. Salt helps in improving heart health.
The intake of salt impacts the blood pressure, which in turn is directly related to heart attacks. When you eat more salt, you will retain more water in the body and this can affect the heart.
People suffering from low blood pressure should try and take more salt and water in their diet. This helps in boosting the volume of blood in the arteries, thereby stabilizing the blood pressure.
3. Salt helps in proper digestion.
Salt helps by stimulating the salivary glands and in creating the digestive juices in the body. This helps in improving the digestion process. Salt helps in preventing constipation by facilitating the proper absorption of food particles in the intestinal tract.
4. Salt helps in relieving respiratory and sore throat problems.
Salt helps people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, sore throat etc. It helps in reducing the inflammation in the respiratory system, thereby reducing the production of phlegm, which in turn helps to breathe easier. Just by taking half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water can help to clear bronchial congestion and sinus.
5. Salt helps in building immunity.
Salt is loaded with antibiotic and antiviral properties. It helps in strengthening the immune system, which enables you to fight off the cold, fever, flu and other allergies.
6. Salt helps in preventing Osteoporosis.
Salt helps in keeping the bones healthy. Nearly ¼ the salt in the body is stored in the bones. Whenever there is a deficiency of salt and water, it causes the body to draw salt or sodium from the bones, which leads to osteoporosis. Therefore it is important to consume an appropriate amount of salt with plenty of water to prevent osteoporosis.
7. Salt helps in maintaining dental hygiene.
In the good old days, people used powdered sea salt to brush their teeth. Salt has great antibacterial properties which help in keeping a lot of dental bacterial infections and ulcers at bay. A simple rinse with ½ teaspoon of salt mixed with 1 glass of warm water will help you get relief from sore gums, swelling of gums or mouth ulcers. Salt also helps in cleaning the plaque and in the whitening of the teeth.
8. Salt is used as an Oral re-hydration.
Whenever small children suffer from diarrhea or cholera etc., we use oral re-hydration packets which contain salts. Salts help in maintaining the hydration levels and also the electrolyte balance in the body. People who work outdoors need to recover the salt and water shortages that occur through perspiration. The ORS( Oral re-hydration solution) is a combination of water, sugar and salt, which helps in compensating for lost fluids.
9. Salt is good for the skin.
Salt has several skin benefits. A sea salt water bath is considered to be one of the most relaxing baths, which helps in removing the dirt and toxins from the body. Salt is also used in several beauty products.
Some of the salt benefits for the skin are listed below –
- Salt helps in the healing of pores, improving blood circulation and also in hydrating the body.
- Salt makes the skin soft, supple and also reduces wrinkles.
- Salt is used in face masks and toners.
- Massaging the skin with 1 teaspoon of fine-grained salt and olive oil helps in exfoliating the skin by removing dead cells.
These are some of the important health benefits of salt and we would encourage you to use the same appropriately in your diet for the best health results.
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