Salt, or sodium chloride, is essential for cooking and for maintaining good health. One of the elements of salt, sodium, is an electrolyte that is necessary to keep the fluid balance inside and around cells correct. It maintains nerve and muscle function and aids in blood pressure regulation. Sodium supports a number of physiological functions by facilitating the passage of vital minerals across cell membranes, including calcium and potassium.
Salt brings out the flavours that are already present in food. It is a flavour enhancer that works well in savoury, sweet, and even some dessert recipes. Balance and moderation are crucial in both cooking and health. Making educated decisions on the usage of salt is facilitated by knowledge of its functions in both our bodies and in cooking. People with certain medical disorders, like hypertension, should pay heed to their health expert's or doctor's recommendations when it comes to salt consumption.
Here is a list of the five types of salts that are edible and can be used for cooking:
1. Sea Salt: Salt brings out the flavours that are already present in food. It is a flavour enhancer that works well in savoury, sweet, and even some dessert recipes. Balance and moderation are crucial in both cooking and health. Making educated decisions on the usage of salt is facilitated by knowledge of its functions in both our bodies and in cooking. People with certain medical disorders, like hypertension, should pay heed to their doctor's recommendations when it comes to salt consumption.
Numerous minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and trace elements, are found in sea salt. These minerals are necessary for many body processes, including bone health, muscle contraction, and neuron function. Although it's not usually a rich source, sea salt might have traces of iodine. The sea salt's minerals can improve hydration in the body.
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2. Rock Salt: This type of salt, sometimes referred to as halite or Himalayan salt, is a kind of salt that is taken out of salt mines and is frequently used in place of table salt. When it comes to flavour, table salt tends to be stronger than rock salt. It has a softer, less strong flavour. The unique pink hue of Himalayan rock salt, in particular, is attributed to trace particles like iron oxide.
It is believed that it gives the salt a somewhat mineral flavour. Trace minerals, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, can be found in rock salt. Even though these minerals aren't found in large quantities, they can nonetheless add to a diet's total mineral consumption. Iodine is a nutrient that is crucial for thyroid function and is usually absent from rock salt.
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3. Black Salt: The rock salt that's often used in South Asian cooking is called black salt, or kala namak. It tastes really different and may be good for you in some ways. Black salt differs from conventional table salt in that it has a distinct sulphurous or "eggy" flavour. The presence of sulphur compounds in the salt, such as hydrogen sulphide, is responsible for its unique flavour.
Black salt has a sulphurous flavour that could also have hints of minerals. To provide a distinct flavour and improve the overall flavour of traditional Indian dishes like chutneys, chaats, and munchies, black salt is frequently added. While sodium is present in black salt, there are trace minerals in black salt, such as magnesium and potassium.
4. Himalayan Pink Salt: One kind of rock salt that is mined in the Himalayan region, mostly in Pakistan, is called Himalayan pink salt. Because of the inclusion of trace elements including iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, it has a unique pink colour. When compared to ordinary table salt, the flavour of Himalayan pink salt is softer and more understated.
Its taste is described by some as being more subtle and sophisticated.Although Himalayan pink salt includes sodium chloride just like other salts, its mineral concentration may change how salty it tastes, so some people use it less frequently. Since Himalayan pink salt has a softer flavour, some people find that they can use less of it overall, which may lower their sodium intake.
5. Bamboo Salt: A traditional Korean salt known as bamboo salt is created by placing sea salt into bamboo stalks and repeatedly roasting them in a furnace powered by pine wood. Usually, this procedure is done multiple times, and each roast adds new flavours and minerals to the salt. Bamboo salt has an intricate and nuanced flavour.
The salt gains a characteristic flavour from the repeated roasting process, which gives it a smokey, earthy, and somewhat sweet taste. Pine wood is used in the roasting process of bamboo salt, adding more minerals to the finished product. These minerals, which include trace elements that help improve general health, may include calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Some people think that bamboo salt has antioxidant qualities.