Sea salt is a type of salt derived from seawater's evaporation. It typically appears as small, coarse, irregularly shaped crystals varying shades of white or gray. Sea salt has a slightly briny taste, often described as more complex and nuanced than table salt. Depending on the harvesting location, it can also have mineral undertones, and using too much of it can be harmful.
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What is sea salt?
Sea salt is obtained through seawater’s evaporation and stands out through its coarse grain. It usually has high to medium grain, but there are also fine sea salt varieties. It has been used in various cuisines, especially in coastal regions.
|Origin||Common in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Japanese cuisines|
|Appearance||Has large crystals and various colors|
|Flavor profile||Natural and subtle taste|
Coarse sea salt is common in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Japanese cuisines. It is often used as a finishing salt sprinkled on top of dishes just before serving to enhance the flavor and texture of the food.
Sea salt is distinct from table salt, with larger crystals and various colors, from white to pink, grey, and black. The color and texture of the salt can vary depending on the location and method of extraction.
Sea salt is known for its natural and subtle taste and slightly briny and mineral-rich profile. It is often considered a healthier alternative to table salt due to its natural form and the presence of trace minerals.
Nutritional Benefits of sea salt
First of all (and most importantly), sea salt helps your body maintain hydration.
Sea salt is rich in 84 trace minerals that your body needs, making it a valuable source of nourishment. It can help replenish essential minerals that may be lacking in our food due to modern farming practices.
This mineral salt helps balance your body’s electrolytes. This is important for your health and your muscles, brain, heart, and nervous system.
In addition, high-quality sea salt with all the necessary minerals effectively regulates blood pressure, boosts immunity, and reduces inflammation. By providing the body with sufficient water and potassium, sea salt may help prevent heart disease and promote cardiovascular health.
Where to buy sea salt in bulk?
There are several options for buying sea salt in bulk:
- Online retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Vitacost offer a wide selection of sea salt in bulk quantities.
- Health food stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Natural Grocers often carry bulk sea salt options.
- Co-ops and local farmers’ markets may also sell bulk bags.
- You can also consider purchasing directly from a sea salt producer or distributor.
When purchasing sea salt in bulk, check the quality and purity of the salt, the certifications, and the seller’s reputation to ensure you’re getting the best natural sea salt.
Is using too much sea salt harmful?
Using too much sea salt can be harmful to your health. While sea salt does contain essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium, excessive consumption can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, kidney damage, and cardiovascular disease.
Limiting your salt intake to 2.3 grams per day is important, as per The American Heart Association. Consuming excessive amounts of salt can increase blood pressure and strain the kidneys, leading to health problems such as heart and kidney disease. It’s important to use sea salt in moderation and be mindful of the amount of salt in your diet.
What is the difference between sea salt and table salt?
Sea salt is obtained through the evaporation of seawater and typically contains more natural minerals and flavor than table salt, which is mined from underground salt deposits and has added iodine and anti-caking agents. Sea salt also tends to have larger and coarser crystals than table salt.
Sea salt vs. other types of salts
It’s worth noting that the actual saltiness level of a particular type of salt can vary depending on factors such as the size of the salt crystals and how it’s used in cooking.
|Salt Type||Description||Flavor||Saltiness Level|
|Sea Salt||Made by evaporating seawater, often with trace minerals||Mild, slightly salty||Moderate|
|Table Salt||Refined salt mined from underground salt deposits; fine grain||None||High|
|Kosher Salt||Coarse salt with a larger grain size than table salt, initially used for koshering meats||Mild, slightly less salty than table salt||Moderate|
|Himalayan Pink Salt||Mined from ancient sea beds in the Himalayan mountains, it has a pink hue due to iron oxide content; considered gourmet salt||Mild, slightly sweet||Moderate|
|Celtic Sea Salt||Harvested from the coastal region of Brittany, France, has a grey color due to mineral content||Mild, slightly earthy||Moderate|
|Fleur de Sel||“Flower of salt” harvested from the surface of evaporating seawater, has a delicate texture||Mild, subtle flavor||Moderate|
|Pickling Salt||A fine-grained salt that dissolves quickly and evenly, often used for pickling and brining due to its lack of additives that may discolor or cloud the solution||Clean, mild flavor||High saltiness level|
|Hawaiian Sea Salt||Salt harvested in Hawaii from seawater evaporated in ponds||Subtle ocean-like flavor||Medium-high|
|Maldon Sea Salt Flakes||Handcrafted English sea salt flakes||Mild, clean taste||Medium|
|Smoked Sea Salt||Sea salt that has been smoked over wood fires (such as hickory or applewood)||Smoky, savory flavor||Medium-high|
|*Epsom Salt||Magnesium sulfate compound used for medicinal purposes, as a bath salt, or in scrubs||No distinct flavor||/|
*Epsom salt is not intended for consumption.