The discovery of the Himalayan salt can be traced back to the army of Alexander the Great. The first records of mining Himalayan salt, however, are from the Janjua clan in the 13th century. The salt is primarily mined at the Khewra Salt Mine in Khewra, Pakistan, and is primarily exported in bulk, and processed in other countries for the consumer market.
Himalayan Salt Health Benefits
Himalayan salt, often touted for its purported health benefits, is distinct in its pink color, which is attributed to its mineral content. The benefits of Himalayan salt may include:
- Rich in Minerals. Himalayan salt contains trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron, which are essential for various bodily functions, including maintaining electrolyte balance, muscle function, and bone health. This is in stark contrast to table salt, which is stripped of most other minerals besides sodium and is filled with microplastics.
- Curbs Sugar Cravings. When you are depleted of sodium, it evokes a process in the central nervous system that signals the motivated state to satisfy the sodium appetite. Where this messaging goes haywire is that the signals can get twisted within the body, and actually trigger cravings for sugar. Neurons start responding to sweets, such as sucrose, in response to the sodium cravings. When you eat the sugar, your brain gets the signals mixed up, and it thinks the salt cravings are satisfied. Just from doing this a few times, your brain creates a habit loop of satisfying sodium needs with sugar cravings. Likewise, the opposite is true – when you are sufficient in salt, sugar cravings are minimized.
- Lowers Blood Sugar. In an experiment, participants were divided into two groups: one with a high salt intake and another with a low salt intake. Subsequently, researchers assessed insulin sensitivity, and among those on the low sodium diet, there was no notable alteration in blood pressure. However, their fasting insulin levels rose when compared to the high sodium group. Conversely, participants in the high sodium group experienced a reduction in blood sugar. The findings of the study indicate a significant relationship between sodium consumption, and blood sugar and insulin levels, demonstrating that sodium can substantially lower blood sugar and insulin levels without impacting blood pressure.
- Lowers Heart Disease. Doctors often associate sodium as a potential cause of heart disease due to its prevalence in diets rich in highly processed foods. These diets often include the consumption of the wrong type of salt, lacking essential minerals, and inflammatory ingredients, such as certain vegetable oils and GMO’s. The combination of carbohydrates, processed foods, low quality sodium, and inflammatory oils is implicated not only in heart disease, but also in conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and various chronic ailments. The heart needs a complete salt with all of the minerals, not just the stripped processed sodium found in the wrong salts. Many at risk for heart disease are already on diuretics, exacerbating sodium imbalance. Struggles with fluid retention occur due to thickened fluid when sodium levels drop too low.
- Lower Sodium Content. While all salts primarily consist of sodium chloride, Himalayan salt may have less sodium than table salt, which could be beneficial for individuals looking to reduce their sodium intake.
- Natural and Unprocessed. Himalayan salt is often less processed and more natural than regular table salt, making it an appealing choice for those seeking minimally processed food options.
- Helps Intracellular Hydration. Himalayan salt can help improve hydration and electrolyte balance due to its mineral composition. This is particularly relevant for athletes and individuals prone to dehydration. This differs from table salt which is stripped of other beneficial minerals; table salt increases the fluid outside the cells (extracellular hydration), leading to inflammation, bloat, and water retention.
- Potential Respiratory Benefits. Himalayan salt lamps are often used for their ambience and soft glow and are believed to help purify the air by attracting water molecules and pollutants. Inhalation of Himalayan salt particles through devices like salt lamps or salt inhalers is believed, by some, to improve lung health, including conditions such as allergies and asthma.
Why We Need Salt
A 1984 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) study unjustly criticized salt, leading to the misguided belief in low and no salt diets. The study included two main flaws: first, the use of table salt instead of the body’s required complete salt with all of the natural minerals, and second, it claimed salt increased blood pressure based on minor and insignificant blood pressure increases in ethnic tribes never exposed to processed salt before. Consequently, an unfounded fear of salt emerged.
Paradoxically, low salt diets challenge cholesterol and blood sugar, affecting cellular wall function and the vital sodium-potassium pump.
Understanding salt and its trace minerals is crucial, given the sodium-potassium pump’s role in cellular health.
The Sodium-Potassium Pump
The sodium-potassium pump is a vital cellular mechanism that maintains the proper balance of sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+) ions inside and outside of cells. It’s a type of active transport mechanism that requires energy (in the form of adenosine triphosphate or ATP) to move these ions against their concentration gradients – from areas of lower concentration to areas of higher concentration.
Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how the sodium-potassium pump functions:
- Binding of Intracellular Sodium (Na+). The pump begins with the binding of three sodium ions (Na+) from the intracellular (inside the cell) side of the cell to specific binding sites on the pump protein.
- Phosphorylation. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is split into ADP (adenosine diphosphate) and an inorganic phosphate (Pi), providing the energy needed for the pump’s activity. The phosphate group is then added to the pump, activating it.
- Translocation of Sodium Ions. The activated pump undergoes a conformational change that allows it to translocate the bound sodium ions to the extracellular (outside of the cell) side of the cell.
- Binding of Extracellular Potassium (K+). The altered conformation of the pump exposes potassium binding sites to the extracellular environment. Two potassium ions (K+) from the extracellular space then bind to these sites.
- Dephosphorylation and Resetting. The binding of potassium ions triggers the dephosphorylation of the pump, causing it to return to its original conformation. The phosphate group is released.
- Translocation of Potassium Ions. As the pump returns to its original shape, it releases the bound potassium ions into the intracellular space.
- Repeat Process. The pump is now ready to repeat the process, starting with binding intracellular sodium ions again.
The sodium-potassium pump plays a critical role in maintaining the electrochemical gradient across the cell membrane. By actively pumping sodium ions out of the cell and potassium ions into the cell, it helps to keep the concentration of sodium lower inside the cell and the concentration of potassium higher inside the cell. This gradient is essential for various cellular functions, including nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and maintenance of cell volume.
Is All Himalayan Salt the Same?
No. Not all Himalayan salt is the same. There have been concerns regarding the potential presence of explosives or other contaminants in Himalayan salt due to the mining and extraction process. Here are some aspects to consider:
- Mining Contamination. The mining of Himalayan salt involves the extraction of salt crystals from mines. Like any mining process, there’s a possibility of encountering contaminants such as explosives residues if the mining area had any history of military or industrial activity.
- High Levels of Fluoride. Fluoride is known to be a neurotoxin and some Himalayan salt has high levels of fluoride.
- Quality Control. Some sources use dirty and antiquated mining equipment to transport the salt, giving them potential contaminants, including explosives or harmful substances.
- Regulatory Standards. In many regions, there are no regulatory bodies that set standards and guidelines for the production and distribution of salt products, including Himalayan salt. Compliance with these standards is crucial for ensuring the safety and quality of the salt.
- Supplier Verification. When purchasing Himalayan salt, it’s essential to choose a reputable and trustworthy supplier. Look for suppliers who provide information about their sourcing, production processes, and any quality testing they conduct on their products.
- Certifications. Some suppliers may not have certifications that validate the quality and safety of their products. Certifications from recognized organizations can provide assurance regarding the absence of harmful substances in the salt
Best Himalayan Salt Alternative
Accelerated Ancient Salt®
Accelerated Ancient Salt® is an all-natural salt blend, including Himalayan salt, sourced from untainted regions including not just the Himalayan mountains, but also the Andes and Utah mountains, creating a unique blend for taste and health benefits.
Every grain of salt is either vigilantly inspected and/or mined deep enough into sedimentary layers that pre-exist the invention of all man-made toxins. We do not use any synthetics or explosives like most other sources of Himalayan and other special salts.
All of these rigorous methods are implemented without washing, bleaching, heating, refining or chemical processes. This ensures that Accelerated Ancient Salt® is free of shells, rocks, plastics, microplastics, explosives residue, pollutants, chemicals such as bleach or anti-caking and free-flowing agents, preservatives, artificial ingredients, excipients, stabilizers, conditioners, or other toxins, as well as contamination by animals.
It has been certified and analyzed to verify its extremely low content of fluoride and other toxins.
Accelerated Ancient Salt™ is further enhanced with scalar frequencies to help detox the body and improve intracellular hydration. It holds a powerful negative charge, and this negative charge is strategically harnessed to attract and eliminate positively charged toxins, parasites, and undigested fats.
Utilizing quantum mechanics and leveraging superior raw material purity, a scalar field is generated, amplifying the salt’s frequency. This scalar energy operates at a heightened frequency, aiding in the organization of DNA structure within the body. There is no salt that comes close to providing health benefits that Accelerated Ancient Salt does.
Accelerated Ancient Salt® Uses & Benefits:
- Provides an excellent source of electrolytes when added to
- Helps with appetite control for intermittent fasting, and alleviates nausea when used as a salt rinse.
- Adds great flavor to food.
- Add 1 tbsp to your bath in addition to 1⁄2 cup of Dead Sea Salt for enhanced detoxification.
- May reduce sugar cravings
- Provides an excellent source of electrolytes when added to
Try Accelerated Ancient Salt® today!
Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.