It began during the Navratri season last year when, thanks to mom and her love for tradition, we used rock salt aka ‘sendha namak’ instead of the regular iodised salt during those 9 festive days observed twice in the year. And thanks to mom and her absolute hatred for wastage, we continued to use the leftover salt from the extra-huge packet that she had bought even after the festivities were.
And finally, thanks to the changes in my body after cashing in on her avoidance of wastage, I continued to stick to rock salt instead of regular salt.
What changes, you wonder?
The change of salt did bring in some extremely positive changes to my body and here’s why I recommend this shift to everyone:
It saved me from the consequences of consuming synthetic chemicals: Apart from connecting me with my traditional side, Navratri helped me realise two important things: For one, small lifestyle changes can make such a huge impact on your health over time. For two, avoiding processed and refined foods while consuming everything natural can make you feel a lot healthier.
I had already cut down on refined carbohydrates, refined sugar, and processed food before I started observing the Navratri fast. However, I never realised that cutting down on all things refined would be incomplete without replacing the harmful refined table salt.
I say this because, after rigorous research, I found that the difference between the manufacturing processes of both these salts is exactly what makes all the difference to our health.
Both the salts are more or less similar in their nutritional value, that is, before the regular salt goes on for further processing. When this happens, most of the naturally-present minerals in this salt get destroyed.
Moreover, natural salt is not exactly clean white but thanks to chemical bleaching, regular salt becomes too white. This might satisfy our idea of everything white being pure but the reality is that this is exactly what harms us.
Not to mention that table salt is produced by heating a flaky residue of crude oil at a high temperature of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and because of this heat, it ends up losing its minerals.
Additionally, many fraudulent manufactures may add synthetic chemicals and iodine to make it more appealing. Plus, the addition of preservatives like the harmful aluminum hydroxide (it can damage the brain over time), and anti-caking agents such as sodium aluminosilicate or magnesium carbonate (to prevent clumping) degrades its further.
Rock salt, on the other hand, is not as processed as table salt and is produced from the evaporation of ocean water or water from saltwater lakes.
Now, need I remind you of how your body can automatically feel lighter and healthier when you stay away from processed food with so many added chemicals? I don’t think so.
It helped me lose weight
The decrease in chemical intake from processed table salt has more benefits than I imagined. Not only is rock salt light on the stomach, but it also aids digestion. Yes ladies, rock salt is a proven deworming miracle and can help with stomach infections as well.
Apart from digestion, it has also helped me control bloating. This is because rock salt happens to have a lower sodium content than table salt. According to a study published by the American Society for Clinical Investigation, increased sodium intake is linked with increased water retention simply because sodium binds itself to water in a bid to maintain the body’s natural fluids.
In the case of table salt, this property can backfire and lead to bloating, especially if your salt consumption is higher than 1 teaspoon of salt per day according to the US Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
“A conservative approach to sodium consumption is a good idea to prevent bloating,” said renowned nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla. She recommended limiting salt consumption to 1 teaspoon in a day.
She also suggested adding herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme, and seaweed to enhance the flavour without using excess salt.
Last, but not the least, I also noticed how switching to rock salt decreased my sugar and salty-food cravings. FYI, this wasn’t an imaginary benefit. Rock salt is a proven insulin stimulator and helps control sugar cravings.
All these benefits combined did take away a few extra inches.
I also felt a lot stronger
I say this because falling sick with every seasonal change comes as naturally to me as the love for writing. But for a year, I’ve noticed a boost in my immunity.
“It is beneficial to consume rock salt since it is higher in minerals and without any additives,” Chawla explained.
And thanks to trace minerals like zinc, iron, manganese, potassium, and magnesium remaining intact in the less-processed rock salt as compared to table salt with very minimal or no presence of these important minerals—I haven’t had the seasonal flu in a year. A study published in the Oxford University Press backs this claim as it stresses the importance of trace minerals to boost immunity.
My blood pressure was in control
Excess sodium consumption is also linked to increased blood pressure and thus, contributing to heart problems. Since rock salt has lesser sodium content, my blood pressure hardly fluctuated throughout the one year of sticking to this wonder salt.
Don’t worry about missing on the extra iodine from table salt, unless you have a thyroid problem, of course, and try switching to rock salt/sendha namak like I did. The changes will not happen overnight, but they will happen over the course of time for sure.