Yes, you heard correctly. Salt is salt, and it's all salt. No, it doesn't mean it's got a fancy long name because it's full of other stuff. In fact, most table salt isn't even salt at all. It's just a rock.
Salt is a mineral comprising an extremely coarse salt crystal. Yes, you read that correctly again. All table salt is mined from sulfide minerals found in seawater, and it all comes straight from the sea. This process takes place deep under the ocean, and there are millions of different minerals in seawater that are very coarse and absorbent. As these minerals gather they eventually fill in spaces in pipes and drains, so they're left on the land. From there they travel to various places around the world, and today many Americans enjoy the convenience of table salt.
How did table salt get from the sea, and how can it be made into a product Americans use every day? The process by which table salt gets prepared and made into a popular commercial product involves three major processes. First, natural airborne traces of minerals like sodium chloride are left in the seawater as the ocean water evaporates. As this occurs, the minerals gradually combine with air particles floating in the water, until eventually, they become trace minerals. These minerals make their way into stone tablets, which are used as table salt.
But even as all that salt intake is becoming problematic for Americans, some scientists feel there's still too much salt. Why? Well, one problem is the speed of evaporating seawater, it takes billions of years for the water to reach its critical point and become too thin for any more minerals to be deposited onto its surface. And that's just at the edge of the ocean. As the water continues on its journey, further trace minerals are washed away along with it, until eventually there's nothing left but pure salt. So in order to avoid a salt shortage, scientists believe that we need to drastically reduce our salt intake, both from the sea and our table salt.
But can reduce salt really be that simple? Most people realize that there are processed commercial alternatives to sea salt, such as table salt, which is usually just sodium chloride. It's important to remember, though, that these processed products still contain significant amounts of chloride, even after evaporation. So is it possible to completely eliminate sodium chloride from our diet?
The answer is a resounding yes. And the key to removing sodium from your diet is increasing the amount of potassium that you consume. Potassium, after all, is the mineral with the most essential effect on overall health. It serves as a vital electrolyte and contributes to strong bones and muscles. If you eat plenty of it, then, you will not only have a healthy body but a healthy mind, too. And just as it is the mineral that provides us with so many benefits, it is also the one that is most often removed from the food that we consume.
Fortunately, scientists now think that they've discovered a natural alternative to table salt that contains far more minerals than sodium chloride, including potassium and magnesium. And they've found that it is even healthier than regular table salt. That's because it is not processed and contains no additives or stabilizers, so it contains just the right amount of nutrients in order to help us live a healthier life.
The good news is that sea salt comes in a variety of different natural sources, including seawater, which is naturally full of nutrients and contains no harmful chemicals. It is also biodegradable, so it's good for the environment. Furthermore, the salt that is produced on a commercial level is often heated, which causes it to lose many of its minerals. Natural sea salt, on the other hand, is much higher in magnesium and potassium, and it is even loaded with iron, which is important for our health. So switching to sea salt is not only good for your health, but it's good for the environment as well.