Benefits of black salt
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Black salt is a commonly available, natural, black-colored, rock salt which has a slightly pungent smell. It consists of unique sulfurous compounds which makes it quite useful. Due to the presence of iron and other minerals, the salt is pinkish-grey in color. Black salt has a long back history in Ayurveda due to its several health benefits and curative potentials. Black salt contains traces of several minerals other than sodium and chlorine. Regular intake of black salt supplies following minerals in our body-

  • Potassium (K)
  • Magnesium (Mg)
  • Calcium (Ca)
  • Iron (Fe)
  • Silicon (Si)
  • Strontium (Sr)
  • Lithium (Li)
  • Sulfur (S)

The benefits of black salt are mainly exhibited due to the presence of trace amounts of these minerals in black salt.(1) Black salt contains sulfur compounds that are responsible for its characteristic color, smell, and taste. (2)

Benefits of black salt: it looks pink in color

The benefits of regular use of black salt

Black salt has a long back history in Ayurveda. It is mainly popular in South Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan. It is traditionally used as a medicine to treat several diseases.

Benefits of Black salt to improve digestive capacity

Black salt is traditionally used to improve our digestive capacity. It is useful for curing mild intestinal disorders. Many people among us are constantly suffering from low-grade acidity. Indigestion and excessive intestinal gas formation are also prevalent. So if you try to partially replace common salt in your daily cooking by black salt, it will improve your digestion capacity. (3)

Benefits of Black salt to relieve constipation

Constipation is a silent, nagging health problem for a large number of people. It greatly reduces our quality of life. Replacing common salt with black salt in our daily diet improves the constipation problem. Black salt acts as a mild laxative. (4)

Benefits of Black salt to relieve intestinal gas & heartburn

Black salt is considered a cooling spice in Ayurvedic medicine. It is useful for those who tend flatulence. It helps in relieving intestinal gas formation and heartburn. (6)

Benefits of Black salt for those suffering from Hyperacidity

Many people among us frequently suffer from acidity problems, even with a normal daily diet. Black salt is beneficial for these persons.

Black salt Benefits for Diabetic individuals

Black salt plays a beneficial role in maintaining a normal blood glucose level and helps to prevent Diabetes. For Diabetes patients, regular intake of black salt reduces the need for taking insulin. So, start taking black salt as a part of your diet if you have diabetes or may have a risk of it.

Benefits of black salt: use in moderation

Benefits of Black salt for those suffering from high blood pressure

It is evident from the scientific studies that excess salt consumption increases the risk of getting blood pressure, leading to cardiovascular disease, gastric cancer, osteoporosis, cataracts, kidney stones, and diabetes. (7) So, for all of us, it is judicious to reduce our salt and/or sodium intake.  The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommended reducing the salt intake of people to decrease the number of deaths from hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. (8, 9)

Suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension) for a long time is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, responsible for 62% of strokes and 49% of coronary heart disease. There is overwhelming evidence that dietary salt is a major cause of raised blood pressure, and a modest reduction in salt intake lowers blood pressure, and in terms reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. (10) So guys, it is clear now that reduction in daily salt and/or sodium intake is essential for all of us for getting a log and healthy life.

The sodium content of black salt is comparatively lower than the common salt. The sodium content of common salt (sodium chloride) is 390 mg sodium/g whereas that of Black salt is 378.3 mg sodium/g. So replacing the common salt to some extent in our kitchen with black salt help to reduce our daily intake of sodium and in the term, help to reduce the risk of many serious diseases.

Benefits of Black salt for cardiac patients

Black salt contains a lesser amount of sodium than common salt. For this reason, black salt is a better alternative for those suffering from high blood pressure and/or cardiac problems. Black salt help to reduce high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure level and also regulates irregular heartbeat. (11, 12) Scientific studies recommend the use of branded black salt in place of table salt.

Various names of black salt

Black salt is known to us in different names in different languages. (13)

Language Other names of Black salt
In English Himalayan salt/ Himalayan rock salt
In Hindi kala Namak
In Tamil Intuppu
In Bengali Bit Lobon /Bit noon

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How Black salt is beneficial?

As mentioned earlier black salt contains a trace amount of many minerals. Each mineral has a specific role in the body. Check the key functions of certain minerals present in black salt that you can’t ignore.

Potassium (K)

  • Potassium-rich foods help to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • It reduces the risk of stroke.
  • It is essential for maintaining electrolyte balance (sodium-potassium balance) of our body.
  • It maintains the acid-base balance of the body (14,15,16,17)

Other potential Sources :

Banana, Papaya, Dates, Tomato, Cucumber, Pumpkins, Beans, Cowpeas, pigeon peas, Lentil, Nuts like Hazelnuts, Walnuts, Cashew nuts, Spinach, Cabbage, Parsley, Potato, Onions, Carrots, Beetroot, Yogurt (18, 19)

Magnesium (Mg)

  • Magnesium is an important element of bones.
  • Adequate intake of magnesium intake is essential for the prevention of cardiac diseases.
  • It is beneficial for those suffering from high blood pressure.
  • Magnesium plays several functions in the human body including its role as a cofactor for more than 300 enzymatic reactions.
  • Magnesium can play an important therapeutic and preventive role in several conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, premenstrual syndrome, pre- eclampsia, migraine, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular diseases, migraine headache, metabolic syndrome. (20, 21, 22, 23, 24)

Other potential Sources :

Almonds, Cashew, Peanuts, Spinach, Soymilk, Peanut butter, Potato, Rice (25)

Benefits of black salt: common salt is only sodium chloride

Calcium (Ca)

  • Calcium is an essential mineral for our body. 99% of calcium is found in teeth and bone.
  • It is required for blood clotting.
  • It helps in regulating the heartbeat.
  • It is required for proper neuro-muscular functions.
  • It plays several other functions in our bodies.
  • Long term calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis in which the bone deteriorates and there is an increased risk of fractures.(26, 27, 28, 29, 30)

Other potential Sources :

Whole milk, Milk powder, Cheese, Yogurt, Cauliflower leaves, Turnip greens (31)

Iron (Fe)

  • Iron is essential for our health and wellness.
  • It is a component of hemoglobin present in the red blood cell.
  • The deficiency of iron leads to anemia. In severe cases, anemia increases the risk of death.(32, 33, 34)

Other potential Sources :

Rolled oats, Millets, Sesame seeds, Pistachio, Cauliflower leaves, Lettuce, Peas, Chickpeas, Meats, Fish, Tofu (35)

Silicon (Si)

  • Silicon is a major (naturally occurring) trace element in the human body derived predominantly from the diet.
  • Silicon plays an essential role in bone formation and maintenance. (36, 37, 38)

Other potential Sources :

Breakfast cereals, Rice, Pasta, Bread, Dry fruits (39)

Strontium (Sr)

  • Strontium can improve the health of bones and teeth.
  • It reduces the pain of osteoarthritis. (40)

Other potential Sources :

Dairy products, Vegetables, Fruits (41)

Lithium (Li)

  • Traces of lithium are required for normal body functions. (42, 43)

Other potential Sources :

Nuts, Cereals, Fish, Mushrooms, Vegetables (44)

Sulphur (S).

  • Sulfur is an essential mineral which is to be supplied in the human diet. (45, 46, 47)

Other potential Sources :

Spring onion, Red onion, Potato, Sweet potato, Carrot, Tomato, Radish, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Meat, Chicken, Eggs (48)

Benefits of black salt: is common salt bad?

Shall I replace common salt with black salt?

No, not suggesting you replace iodized common salt completely with black salt. Use both in moderation.

Common salt is pure sodium chloride whereas black salt is mainly sodium chloride along with other minerals like potassium, calcium, strontium, sulfur, etc. Traces of these minerals are responsible for the health benefits of black salt. So it is healthier for you to use more black salt instead of common salt.

Partial replacement of common salt with black salt is not only the healthier option, but it also improves the taste of the recipe. You can use a pinch of black salt in raita, lassi, chaas, snack items like fried foods, chana, chaat, etc. It can also be used to replace common salt in the preparation of different types of salads.

Bottom Line

Black salt is a type of natural salt and it has multiple benefits. Along with sodium chloride, it also contains traces amount of other important minerals which are essential for the normal functioning of the human body. We are habitually consuming more amount of sodium chloride than that is recommended. So be judicious enough and reduce your sodium intake by simply replacing the table salt with black salt. It is the easiest way to reduce the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) without compromising your taste in foods.

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Dr. Sagarika Chakraborty was awarded her doctorate in Food and Nutrition from University of Calcutta (C.U.) in 2017. She is an experienced Researcher, working in the field of Food Science for more than 12 years and published papers in international and national journal. She has also presented papers in national conferences.

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