This high-al­ti­tude min­eral is packed with health and home ben­e­fits WHY IT’S HEALTHY HOW TO USE IT

Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - HEALTH -

Most of us have too much of it, but salt – or sodium chlo­ride, to give it its of­fi­cial ti­tle – is es­sen­tial for health. In fact, we couldn’t ex­ist with­out it, Eat Fit Food nu­tri­tion­ist Kather­ine Roth­well says. As well as help­ing the body to main­tain its wa­ter bal­ance and blood pH, it’s needed for stom­ach, nerve and mus­cle func­tion. But not all salt is cre­ated equal. Here, Roth­well ex­plains what makes Hi­malayan sea salt top of the heap in terms of health. This nat­u­ral rock salt comes from the Hi­malayan foothills of Pak­istan. It’s not bleached or chem­i­cally al­tered, like pro­cessed ta­ble salt, and its crys­tals are of­ten red­dish, pink, off-white or trans­par­ent. Hi­malayan salt has an im­pres­sive nu­tri­tional pro­file with dozens of min­er­als (some stud­ies have found more than 80), in­clud­ing cal­cium (for bone health), iron (to trans­port oxy­gen), zinc (for im­mu­nity), io­dine (to main­tain a healthy metabolism) and se­le­nium (for sperm health).

Ac­cord­ing to anec­do­tal ev­i­dence it also works as a com­ple­men­tary ther­apy in treat­ment of res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tions such as asthma, and eases con­ges­tion and dry coughs. Ex­change it for ta­ble salt in your cook­ing; use it to ease res­pi­ra­tory con­di­tions by adding it to a nasal spray or a salt air dif­fuser, which turns saline so­lu­tion into a salt aerosol; or add it to your bath as a detox­i­fy­ing agent. It also works well as a nat­u­ral clean­ing prod­uct and be­comes an effective scour­ing agent when com­bined with vine­gar; it’s par­tic­u­larly good for clean­ing stained cups, clear­ing drains and soak­ing up spilt wine.

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