- MOST RECENT
10 Things to Know About Sunflower Oil
No dish is complete without a sprinkling of salt. Salt is an essential part of the diets of people across the world. This is because aside from its flavour-enhancing properties, salt plays a crucial role in several bodily processes. The sodium contained in salt plays a role in maintaining blood pressure, nerve and muscle functioning and preserving water balance of body cells, to name a few of its uses.
However, salt is a compound that can be derived from many different sources. The salt we use is most commonly extracted from either of two main ones; the sea and salt mines.
Sea salt is white in colour and undergoes a fair amount of processing before it reaches our homes. One of these processes is the addition of iodine to create ‘iodized salt’; an important step as iodine is also an essential mineral required by the human body.
Salt mines, on the other hand yield a slightly different product; commonly known as rock salt. Rock salt and black salt are derived from a mineral called halite that is formed in underground salt beds and thus, can only be harvested by mining. Apart from the core compound of sodium chloride, rock salt and black salt possess a higher level of other important minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, etc., than sea salt.
Black salt, otherwise known as Himalayan Black Salt, kaala namak, Sulemani namak or kala noon, is a type of rock salt. It is mined from salt mines of the Himalayan region. The name comes from the appearance of the salt crystal, which is greyish-black in colour before it is processed and crushed into powder which is pink in colour.
While rock salt and black salt are less refined than common salt or table salt, they do undergo a certain amount of processing. A crucial step in the processing of Himalayan black salt involves the salt crystals being fired in a kiln along with select herbs and spices like amla, babul bark, bahera and harad seeds.
Himalayan black salt has long been used in Indian cuisine, because of its distinct, slightly sulphurous flavour. It is a core ingredient of chaat masala, which is used to season salads, chutneys, curries and of course, chaat items. It has also been used in Ayurveda to treat a variety of ailments.
Black salt, like other varieties of rock salt, has lower sodium content than common salt. This makes rock salt and black salt a healthier option as excess salt consumption can increase the risk of problems like hypertension, kidney disorders, stroke and heart disease, to name a few.
Consuming lower quantities of sodium is also good for people already suffering from high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
As mentioned earlier, Himalayan black salt has been used in Ayurveda to soothe digestive disorders. It acts as a laxative and also treats bloating, indigestion, abdominal pain, heartburn and nausea.
Black salt is a good source of other minerals that the body needs, namely; iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, calcium and zinc. These are present in rock salt and black salt in trace amounts, which is what is needed by the body anyway. Regular consumption of rock salt and black salt may prevent mineral deficiencies.
Potassium contained in black salt is good for muscles. It helps relax them and may prevent muscle cramps and spasms. Sodium and potassium present in rock salt and black salt are extremely important for proper functioning of nerves as well.
The lower sodium content in rock salt and black salt is the main benefit that makes them a much healthier option than common or table salt. This holds especially true for people with hypertension, kidney disorders and heart problems.
When comparing rock salt and black salt, we find that the difference between them isn’t too great. Himalayan black salt is a type of rock salt and as such, contains much of the same properties. However, the quality of the halite mined in the Himalayan region as well as the spices and herbs added to it, make black salt unique.
Due to being derived from a mineral source and being subject to less processing, Himalayan black salt retains the trace elements that improve its medicinal qualities, making it a very healthy alternative to table salt. However, like any other type of salt, the consumption of rock salt and black salt must be moderated.
You might wonder how to use Himalayan black salt? Well, it’s simple. In place of regular table salt! Use Himalayan black salt to season your dishes and enjoy the slightly smoky, slightly pungent taste that it adds apart from the saltiness we love!
Try 24 Mantra Organics’s Himalayan Rock Salt and enjoy the goodness of organic!
10 Things to Know About Sunflower Oil