Sea salt is marine salt that is formed by the evaporation off of seawater into the sky. It's most popularly used as a seasoning in baking, cooking, baked goods, cosmetics, and even for preserving food. It's also known as black salt, sandstone salt, or sea salt. Production of sea salt dates back to prehistoric times when early humans first dug out caverns and took out fossilized shells from their shells.
Salt is naturally present in the sea, which makes up about 90% of the Earth's crust. While there is much salt in the ocean, the mineral content is so varied that it is hard to classify and chemically pure. Over years of pressure and weathering, the mineral content of the sea water is depleted and the sea salt begins to form. The salt can take on any color desired from light to dark. In addition to minerals, the salt contains tiny trace elements like iron, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and zinc which improve flavor and nutrient absorption in food and also provide an extra amount of Vitamin D for human consumption.
All table salt comes from sea salt deposits which are evaporated seawater and contain traces of magnesium, iron, and sodium. There is a thin layer of the mineral matter on the surface called the strum. As time passes and the water evaporates, the salt crystals soak up these essential minerals and become white. This process takes place at a very slow pace, taking about two years for about five grams of material to become a crystal and another five to ten years for salt crystals to reach a thickness of one micrometer. This is how table salt gets its color.
Most table salt comes from salt mines around the world. Salt mining is not the only way to get it, however. Certain types of stone and sand can be used for the process as well. Salt production plants use different ways to extract these minerals from the rocks and use various processing methods to transform them into usable products. Most people don't think of table salt as having any health benefits.
One reason why table salt has few health benefits is that it lacks the anaerobic bacteria that naturally occur in the ocean. Oceanic bacteria are present in small quantities and they break down organic substances that come into contact with the water. They are also responsible for generating waste, which is usually harmless to humans. However, when too much salt and other organic matter become present, the anaerobic bacteria cannot function properly and they turn harmful. Too much salt creates an environment in which the growth of mold and other harmful microorganisms is highly encouraged. As a result, the color and taste of sea salt came into the noticeably lower quality and it eventually begins to lose its pleasant taste and smell.
Most table salt contains both sodium and chloride. Sodium chloride is generally considered safer because it dissolves easily in water. However, when combines with other ingredients such as calcium or magnesium it can become sodium chloride while still retaining the chloride components. These additives often end up being absorbed through the skin and into the body where they combine with other chemicals and react with the natural chemicals present in the body to create health risks.
The table salt you buy at your local store may contain potassium or sodium chloride, but the real thing is only the latter. Natural rock salt contains mostly potassium chloride, and sometimes it includes iron, manganese, and zinc. However, because it doesn't contain iodine it is particularly dangerous for those who suffer from iodine deficiency. Iodine is essential for proper thyroid function, so salt that does not contain it is a major health risk. This is especially true for young children who should have higher levels of iodine in their bodies from receiving their first dose of table salt.
Fortunately, most table salts do not contain any artificial ingredients, and most sea salts are very pure. Himalayan salt is still the purest of all salt available, and its name means "mountain" because it was found in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. This pure sea salt is used around the world because it not only contains healthy minerals such as iodine and potassium, but also calcium, magnesium, and iron. It is a special grade of Himalayan salt with an even higher purity, which makes it ideal for those with iodine deficiency.