Sea salt. Yum. Here at Freshly, we use sea salt in our products for its taste and texture, and also as a healthy choice over table salt. We think healthy food doesn’t have to taste bland, and sea salt is one ingredient that lets us bring taste to your plate. Of course, the word “salt” brings with it a lot of debate (and rightly so), so we’ll try our best to clear some things up!
WHY SEA SALT?
Unlike table salt, which is processed and stripped of healthful minerals, sea salt retains its natural, hydrating minerals from the sea… long after the saltwater has evaporated. It’s estimated that sea salt contains anywhere between 60 to 80 trace minerals that our bodies lack but could use for good digestion and proper function, like magnesium, potassium, and calcium. And, as research begins to show that salt/sodium from natural sources isn’t as villainous as once thought (more on that later), we want to be clear that it’s unrefined sea salt that can be beneficial – not the salt that comes with processed, nutrient-poor fast foods.
Some trace minerals that sea salt contains include magnesium (cell and brain function), calcium (strong bones), potassium (low blood pressure), iron (energy), and zinc (overall proper immune function). Sea salt also helps keep the electrolytes in your body regulated (for a healthy heart rate.)
IS SALT BAD FOR YOU?
The stigma on salt as an unhealthy, blood-pressure boosting ingredient is changing, in recent research. A large study of over 6000 people found a lack of strong evidence for linking reduced salt intake with reduced heart attacks, and according to an article from Scientific American, the rest of the evidence for salt’s effect on heart disease is pretty inconclusive.
When balanced with healthy nutrients, non-processed foods, and a good intake of water, unrefined salt can have benefits just like other healthy ingredients, from hydration (through its electrolytes) to minimizing stress. It’s also worth noting that sea salt has similar levels of sodium to regular table salt, but the difference isn’t in sea salt’s amount of sodium, but in its lack of non-processed nutrients and chemical additives.
We have no problem with moderate amounts of sodium, as long as it’s from the right places. (Moderate means you should still be conscious of not overdoing it with sea salt, just as you would to any kind of salt. Overblown amounts of sodium from any source – that’s more than 2,300 mg per day – can damage your health – just as overblown amounts of anything can be unhealthy.)
The bottom line: don’t be quick to call salt a villain – salt can be used for light taste and texture, but don’t rely on it to make your whole meal!
Some more resources on sea salt and the potential benefits of sodium:
Washington Post: Pass the Salt Please. It’s Good For You.
Mark’s Daily Apple: Is Salt Healthy?
Scientific American: It’s Time to End The War on Salt