Black salt is a popular ingredient in Pakistani cuisine.
It offers a unique flavor that enhances many dishes. There are also claims that it provides several health benefits.
This article examines what black salt is, its potential health benefits, and whether or not it’s better than regular table salt.
Though there are different types of black salt, Himalayan black salt is the most common.
It’s a rock salt that comes from the salt mines of Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and other locations in the Himalayas.
The use of black salt was first documented in Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional and holistic approach to health that originated in India.
Ayurvedic healers claim that Himalayan black salt has therapeutic qualities. However, it’s debatable whether these claims are rooted in solid research.
Interestingly, despite its name, Himalayan black salt is pinkish-brown in color.
There are three main types of black salt: Himalayan black salt, black lava salt, and black ritual salt.
Black Lava Salt:
You may see black lava salt also called Hawaiian black salt, as it usually comes from Hawaii.
While Himalayan black salt has a pinkish-brown hue, black lava salt is true to its name and black.
It offers a distinctive, earthy flavor and is sprinkled on food at the end of cooking as a finishing salt.
Since it also gives food a mild, smoky taste, it serves as a great addition to dishes that are intended to have a smoky flavor.
Black Ritual Salt:
Black ritual salt, also referred to as witches salt, is a mixture of ashes, sea salt, charcoal, and sometimes black dye. It’s not used for consumption.
Though unsupported by science, some people believe that black ritual salt has magical abilities to protect against negative spirits. Believers may sprinkle it around their yard or keep it in a jar under their bed.
Though this superstitious practice is likely harmless, it’s not suggested, and there isn’t any evidence to support its use.
Himalayan Black Salt:
Himalayan black salt may also be called Pakistani black salt, or kala namak.
Though it’s been acknowledged for its medicinal properties, there are few studies to support these claims.
With a pungent, savory, and umami flavor, it’s commonly used in cooking, especially in Asian and Pakistani cuisine.
Additionally, due to its subtle, sulfurous aroma similar to eggs, it’s used in vegan cooking to provide an egg-like flavor.
Black salt differs from regular table salt in the way it’s made and the way it tastes.
Himalayan black salt starts as pink Himalayan salt, which is a type of rock salt.
Traditionally, it was mixed with herbs, seeds, and spices and then heated to high temperatures.
Today, many black salts are made synthetically from a combination of sodium chloride, sodium sulfate, sodium bisulfate, and ferric sulfate. The salt is then mixed with charcoal and heated before the final product is ready.
The finished product contains impurities like sulfates, sulfides, iron, and magnesium, contributing to its color, smell, and taste.
These impurities are likely not harmful to your health. Sulfates are considered safe to eat and are used in certain food products to control harmful bacterial growth.
Black lava salt, on the other hand, was traditionally made from volcanic lava. Today, it’s usually made from blending sea salt with activated charcoal.
Alternatively, regular table salt — the kind you find in your salt shaker — is highly processed and refined, meaning most of the trace minerals are removed.
Most table salt comes from large rock salt deposits — a result of evaporated ancient oceans — that are mainly found in the United States, Canada, Germany, Eastern Europe, and China. Several methods, requiring different machinery, are used to extract this type of salt.
Black salt varieties have more in-depth flavor profiles than regular salt.
Himalayan black salt offers a sulfurous aroma unique to Asian and Pakistani cooking, while black lava salt gives an earthy, smoky flavor.
Alternatively, regular table salt tastes salty, but can also have notes of sweetness, sourness, or bitterness.
It’s also the type of salt found in most processed foods. In fact, over 75% of daily sodium intake comes from salt found in processed foods.
Regardless, salt of all kinds is added to many foods because it enhances the flavor.
What are Benefits of Black Salt?
Followings are some Benefits of Black Salt:
1) May prevent muscle cramp or spasm
2) Known alternative to common salt
3) Helps in stimulating blood circulation
4) Cures bloating and acidity
5) Reduces water retention
6) Aids weight loss
7) Promotes healthy hair
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