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Pore over salt! Dig deep into salty story black & white

3 min read

Madhushree  S

Mysuru: Throughout time, salt has played a major role in human history and culture. It is an integral part of the human society. Many centuries ago, Salt was used as a currency for trading.

Salt is one of the most important tastes of the world, along with using for cooking it is also used to preserve and pack foods like vegetables and meat since ancient times. 

Salt chemical form NaCl (Sodium Chloride).

Salt is crucial to maintaining human health. It is the main source of sodium. It is essential to regulate electrolytes in our body. It also helps in proper functioning of the nerves and muscles. It is also important to control blood pressure and its volume.

Salt is a precious mineral discovered by humans and its intake is crucial in our diet. 

Using it in moderation is the key to maintaining healthy body functions. 

Salts are found in natural forms like rocksalts and some are commercially produced like table salts with Iodine. Salts from natural sources are good to use in cooking, since they have less sodium content and are easily processed by our body. 

Here are 4 different types of Salts that we need to consume in our daily diet.

  1. Sea Salt : This type of salt is produced by evaporating sea water. This method has been used by humans since prehistoric times. It is most commonly found and widely used in cooking and preserving food.

         It is good to use for soaking, cooking dals and lentils. Use them to preserve veggies for pickling. Also use it while making gravies, curries and sambar kind of dishes.

Available in brown (natural food stores) n white form.

Apart from cooking, sea salts are used as body scrub and for bathing since it has many therapeutic properties and also helps to rejuvenate skin.

  1. Rock / mineral Salt :  Also known as Sendava lavana eg. Himalayan pink salt. This type of salts are formed by evaporation of sea or lakes which leaves behind colourful rocks or crystals. Along with sodium these salts also have traces of other minerals like iron, zinc, nickel, manganese and copper.  

It is known to be much more healthier than other salts since it has low sodium content and other minerals. 

Use this in your salads, sprinkle them on veggies and fruits, sherbeths/juices. Add a small pinch to enhance the taste of your sweet dishes. 

  1. Black Salt: Known as Kala namak / Himalayan black salt is obtained from mines in brownish black colour. Its odor and tastes are a bit pungent due to its sulfur content. It turns purplish pink when powdered. It is used in ayurveda for its medicinal value. It also has antioxidant properties.

We can use few pinches of black salt with our meals, dishes and drink. Use small pinches while making chutney, good to use in raitas, fruit salads, chaats, citrus fruit juices. 

Just add few pinches of black salt in your dishes to enhance the taste and your health

  1. Table salt / Iodine salt : Known as Common salt or table salt. This is commercially fortified with micronutrients like Iodine. 

Iodine is essential for proper thyroid function and to regulate thyroid hormone. 

Consumption of iodised salt is the only way our body gets iodine, so use them sparingly in your cooking. 

Use them to cook vegetables, rice dishes. When using salt “less is more”. The recommended value of salt intake is five grams per person, per day, which is just a teaspoon full. 

So use your salts accordingly and incorporate different varieties of salts in your daily diet.  The trick to using less salt, is to tune one’s taste buds to eat low salt food.

(The writer is a Diet Counselor based in Mysuru)

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