It is often thought that to promote optimal health, it is better to reduce salt intake to a minimum. Did you know, however, that lack of salt can also be harmful to the body? In this article, discover the benefits of natural salts that promote good health. This is the case, for example, of a river salt unique in the world… the pink salt of Maras.
Finding the balance between too much and too little salt
Salt is generally frowned upon. Many perceive it as an enemy of health, leading to a cascade of cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure.
However, salt is often wrongly accused. Rather, it is pure table salt, sodium chloride (NaCl), which is to be pointed out in the association of health problems. This inexpensive salt, available in almost all stores, provides us with a single mineral, sodium. And it is true that over-consumption of sodium can have destructive effects on cardiovascular health. As currently stipulated by the World Health Organization (WHO), a consumption of less than two grams of salt per day – one teaspoonful – would be a preventive measure to fight cardiovascular disorders. 1
However, salt itself is not the food to blame. It is rather the sodium that we must focus on.
Andrew Mente, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at McMaster University and Senior Researcher at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), has done just that. As PHRI’s principal investigator, Andrew Mente addressed the issue of sodium over-consumption by leading a cohort of 130,000 individuals in 49 countries. The results of this investigation showed that:
Sodium intake in excess of 6 grams per day is problematic for cardiovascular health;
Sodium consumption of less than 3 grams per day corresponds to an increase in cardiovascular disorders and mortality;
Low sodium consumption leads to hormonal imbalances;
The average Canadian consumes between 3.5 grams and 5 grams of sodium per day, contrary to current recommendations of less than 2.3 grams per day;
Current sodium recommendations are set too low ;2
In light of these discoveries, the scientific community is readjusting its discourse on salt consumption.
How to choose a quality salt that promotes health?
Although excess sodium can affect health and lead to micronutrient imbalances, it is clear that the importance of salt in the diet remains significant.
Ideally, the salt consumed should be unrefined and unprocessed while offering a variety of minerals including potassium. This is the case, for example, of pink salt from Maras, a unique salt harvested by hand in the Peruvian Andes.
Unlike more industrialized salts, Maras pink salt is the true example of a pure and natural salt containing a range of minerals including sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. With a sodium level as low as 22%, the saline profile of Maras pink salt is balanced and nourishing.
The pink salt of Maras – a unique salt in the world
Proposed by the company Inka Nature, Maras salt is neither a sea salt nor a land salt but a river salt. Unique in the world, Maras salt – named after the city of Maras from which it comes – results from the flow of an underground saline river gushing out at an altitude of more than 3,500 metres in the Andes. This ancient sea feeds the region’s steep saltworks, which are reminiscent of rice fields. Only a few families from the local tribes have the privilege of working on these salt works and passing on the knowledge of the harvest from generation to generation.
For the locals, the place is a real sacred place, a relic of the Incan or even pre-Incan era. Legend has it that the river crosses an underground rose quartz mine before it emerges. So we say that this salt is vibratory.
In addition to its precious historical character, Maras pink salt has many health benefits due to its low sodium content and high potassium content. Unprocessed and harvested by hand, this salt is from fair trade and has no impact on the environment.
Like a classic salt, pink Maras salt can be used anywhere. Instead, it is added at the end of cooking or placed on the table so that everyone can salt as they wish. Its crystals dissolve quickly and the taste of salt penetrates food to add unparalleled culinary value.
When stored in a dry and cool place, Maras pink salt will be less likely to agglomerate and will maintain its freshness for longer.
For a simple recipe featuring pink Maras salt, try this marinated tomato salad with pink Maras salt.
Good salty health
Graduate naturopath and writer in health and well-being
Reduce salt consumption. World Health Organization. June 2016.
Low Salt Diets Not Beneficial: Global Study Finds. McMaster University. May 2016.
Maras salt from Peru. Spice Island.
Pink salt of Maras. Inka Nature.