Health Benefits of Celtic Sea Salt in the Morning

Written by: Pard Bharaj

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Time to read 12 min

“Do you know a cure for me?" "Why yes," he said, "I know a cure for everything. Salt water."

Isak Dinesen

Preface: A Personal Journey with Unrefined Salts


Unrefined salts, such as Celtic sea salt and Himalayan salt, stand apart from standard refined table salts due to their minimal processing, preserving their natural state. There's a burgeoning recognition of the remarkable health benefits these salts may offer.


In this article, I aim to share my personal insights since integrating Celtic sea salt into my daily regimen. While attempting to substantiate these health benefits with scientific backing, it's apparent that research on unrefined salts is somewhat scarce. Some benefits I've experienced firsthand, while others lack extensive documentation or clear-cut evidence. Much of the available information stems from traditional usage, anecdotal accounts, or potential benefits inferred from the rich mineral composition of unrefined salts like Himalayan and Celtic sea salt.

Introduction:


Celtic sea salt, is a condiment that is growing in popularity especially among health-conscious individuals. Harvested from the Atlantic Ocean, specifically from the coastal regions near Brittany, France, this unrefined salt is known for its rich mineral content and distinct flavour and appearance - Celtic Sea Salt typically has a higher moisture content compared to other sea salts. This moisture helps to retain the salt's minerals and gives it a distinct, greyish colour.

 

Unlike its heavily processed counterparts, Celtic sea salt retains its natural essence, complete with a spectrum of essential minerals that contribute to a range of health benefits, especially when incorporated into your morning routine.


In this article we take a closer look at Celtic sea salt and how incorporating it into your morning routine could provide you with a significant health boost.

Historical and Cultural Significance:


Before we explore the health benefits of Celtic sea salt, here are some intriguing facts that underscore Celtic sea salts historical and cultural importance:


  • Ancient Harvesting Techniques:¬†¬†Celtic sea salt is harvested using age-old methods that date back to over 2,000 years. These traditional techniques ensure that the salt retains its natural purity and therapeutic qualities. These days it is harvested from the¬†coastal regions of Brittany, France, and parts of the British Isles. It's harvested by channelling seawater into clay ponds or salt marshes and is hand-harvested using wooden tools.

  • A Symbol of Wealth and Trade:¬†¬†In ancient times, salt was a highly prized commodity, often referred to as "white gold." Celtic sea salt, with its superior quality, was a significant player in trade and was often used as a currency.

  • Therapeutic Use in Traditional Medicine:¬†¬†Historically, Celtic sea salt was not just a seasoning but also a key ingredient in various traditional medicine practices. It was used to alleviate ailments, detoxify the body, and maintain a balance of bodily fluids.¬†It is rich in minerals, containing about 82 essential minerals and trace elements such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium.¬†

  • Culinary Pride of the Celts:¬†¬†The Celts, known for their rich culture and profound respect for nature, prized this salt for its ability to preserve food and enhance flavor. Its use was deeply ingrained in their culinary traditions.

Health Benefits of Celtic Sea Salt:

Better Hydration:


Starting your day with a pinch of Celtic sea salt in your morning glass of water can significantly enhance your hydration levels. Unlike regular table salt, Celtic sea salt is brimming with trace minerals that play a crucial role in the body's hydration process. Here's how Celtic sea salt can boost your morning hydration:


  • Enhanced Water Absorption:¬† The minerals in Celtic sea salt can help your body absorb and retain water more effectively. This improved hydration is not just about increasing water intake; it's about ensuring that the water you consume is utilised efficiently by your body.

  • Balanced Fluid Retention:¬† Celtic sea salt can help maintain a healthy balance of fluids in your body. It's not just about preventing dehydration but also about avoiding the excessive retention of water

  • Support for Cellular Function:¬† Proper hydration supports essential cellular functions and optimal performance.

Proper hydration is vital for cognitive function and overall brain health, and I have definitely experienced a marked improvement in mental clarity since incorporating these salts into my morning routine.

The image shows two glasses of water with ice on a wooden table. The background is blurred with hints of blue, suggesting a sky or body of water in the distance.

Electrolyte Balance:


Incorporating Celtic sea salt into your morning routine can play a pivotal role in maintaining electrolyte balance, a key factor in sustaining your body's overall function and  energy levels . 

Celtic sea salt, rich in essential minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium, offers a natural solution to replenish and balance electrolytes. 


  • Optimal Nerve and Muscle Function:¬†¬†Electrolytes are crucial for transmitting electrical signals in the body. A balanced level ensures that your nerves and muscles function correctly, preventing cramps and maintaining muscle strength and coordination.

  • Support for Cardiovascular Health:¬†¬†Proper electrolyte balance is essential for maintaining a healthy heart rate and blood pressure. Celtic sea salt provides a natural source of these vital minerals.

Increased energy is something I can testify to. The first time I took these salts as a pre-workout drink it gave my workout a tremendous boost, helping me to set a personal best in many body weight exercises.

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Can Improve Digestive Health:


It is believed that Celtic sea salt can have a positive impact on digestive health. Here's how Celtic sea salt is believed to contribute to digestive wellness when consumed in the morning:


  • Stimulates Digestive Juices:¬†¬†Celtic sea salt can trigger the production of digestive enzymes and stomach acid, facilitating the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from your breakfast. This can lead to more efficient digestion and a reduction in¬†bloating and discomfort¬†throughout the day.

  • Supports Gut Health: ¬†The trace minerals in Celtic sea salt can nourish your gut lining, promoting the health of the intestinal barrier. This is crucial for preventing unwanted substances from entering the bloodstream and for ensuring that nutrients are absorbed properly.


I should mention that this belief is fairly anecdotal and there is no scientific study (yet) to prove it can improve digestive health.

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Nutrient Absorption:


Celtic sea salt, when included in your morning routine, can enhance the body's ability to absorb nutrients from breakfast and other meals throughout the day.  Here's how Celtic sea salt is believed to boost nutrient absorption when consumed in the morning:


  • Mineral-Rich Profile:¬† Celtic sea salt is laden with a variety of minerals and trace elements. These components are essential co-factors in numerous enzymatic processes, including those involved in nutrient absorption and digestion.

  • Promotes Healthy PH Levels: ¬†The alkaline minerals in Celtic sea salt can help balance the pH levels in your stomach, creating an optimal environment for the absorption of nutrients, especially minerals like calcium and magnesium.

It should be noted that despite extensive research there is no evidence to back-up this health claim.

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Supports Detoxification:


Incorporating Celtic sea salt can be a natural and effective way to support your body's detoxification processes. It should be mentioned that there is again no scientific study to support this claim, it is more of a theory based on people's personal experience.


However, it is believed to aid detoxification in the following ways:


  • Supports Natural Detox Pathways:¬† The minerals in Celtic sea salt, especially magnesium and potassium, can support the function of organs like the liver and kidneys, which are pivotal in the body's natural detoxification process.

  • Promotes Digestive Cleansing:¬† Celtic sea salt can help draw water into the intestines, promoting regular bowel movements. This natural laxative effect can aid in the removal of waste and toxins from the digestive tract.

  • Alkalizing Effect:¬† Despite being a salt, Celtic sea salt is known for its alkalizing properties. A balanced pH level in the body is crucial for detoxification, as it allows the body to efficiently neutralise and eliminate toxins.

The image shows the word "DETOX" in white capital letters, with each letter separated by a dot. The letters are placed on a solid green background.

Supports Adrenal Function:


Integrating Celtic sea salt into your diet can provide support to your adrenal glands, the small but mighty organs responsible for managing your body's hormonal response to stress. Here's how this natural salt can bolster adrenal function when included in your morning routine:


  • Rich in Vital Minerals:¬†¬†The adrenal glands use minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium, to produce and regulate important hormones such as cortisol, the stress hormone.

  • Helps Maintain Proper Hydration:¬† Proper hydration is essential for adrenal health, and the balanced mineral content in Celtic sea salt helps maintain the body's fluid balance.

  • Supports Energy Production:¬† The adrenal glands are integral to maintaining energy levels. Celtic sea salt can help ensure that these glands have the necessary nutrients to produce energy-sustaining hormones, especially during stressful times or busy mornings.

 The image shows a detailed anatomical model of a human kidney. The model is sectioned to reveal the internal structures, including the renal cortex, renal medulla, and renal pelvis. It is numbered for educational purposes, indicating different parts that are likely referenced in an accompanying key.

Best Ways of Incorporating Celtic Sea Salt into Your Morning Routine:


Speaking from personal experience embracing Celtic sea salt in your morning routine can transform the start of your day. Here's how you can seamlessly integrate this nutrient-rich salt into your mornings.


  • As a Drink:¬†I begin each day with a half glass of water mixed with a pinch of Celtic sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. This ritual significantly boosts my energy levels and mental clarity. It's an excellent pre-workout drink, providing the perfect balance of hydration and electrolytes to fuel my morning activities.

  • Additional Ways to Incorporate Celtic Sea Salt:

    • Season Your Breakfast:¬†Elevate the taste of your morning meals like eggs or avocado toast by sprinkling a bit of Celtic sea salt on top. It's a simple way to add a mineral-rich flavor to your breakfast.

    • Salted Herbal Tea:¬†Enhance your morning herbal tea with a small pinch of Celtic sea salt. It not only enriches the flavor but also ensures you're receiving essential minerals right at the start of your day.

  • Smoothie Addition:¬†Introduce a small pinch of Celtic sea salt into your morning smoothie. It helps balance the sweetness and provides a mineral boost to kickstart your day.

  • Salted Oats or Porridge:¬†Stir a pinch of Celtic sea salt into your oats or porridge. It's a subtle tweak that can make a significant difference in both taste and nutrient intake.

Difference Between Table Salts and Unrefined Salts:


These two types of salt, though serving similar culinary purposes, differ significantly in their processing, nutritional content, and impact on health. Recognising these differences is crucial for those aiming to make healthier dietary choices.


Processing:

  • Table Salt: Highly processed to eliminate minerals and impurities. Often involves the addition of anti-caking agents to prevent clumping.

  • Unrefined Salt: Minimally processed to retain its natural minerals and elements. Free from additives, presenting a more natural composition.


Nutritional Content:

  • Table Salt: Primarily consists of sodium chloride. Commonly fortified with iodine, addressing iodine deficiency in populations.

  • Unrefined Salt: Rich in trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium, in addition to sodium chloride. The mineral content contributes to its distinct flavor and color.


Health Implications:

  • Table Salt: Excessive consumption is linked to increased blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular diseases. Lack of trace minerals found in natural salts.

  • Unrefined Salt: The presence of essential minerals can contribute to a balanced diet. However, moderation is key, as excessive intake of any salt can lead to health issues.


Taste and Culinary Use:

  • Table Salt: Uniform flavor, making it a standard seasoning in everyday cooking.
  • Unrefined Salt: Unique taste and texture, preferred by chefs and gourmets for enhancing the flavor profile of dishes.


Environmental Impact:

  • Table Salt: Production is more energy-intensive, often involving extensive mining and processing.

  • Unrefined Salt: Harvested in a more environmentally sustainable manner, typically from sea water or salt mines with minimal processing.

Precautions and Side Effects:


While unrefined salts like Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt are praised for their mineral content and potential health benefits, it's crucial to use them wisely and be aware of possible precautions and side effects:


  1. Sodium Intake: Unrefined salts still contain sodium, an essential nutrient but one that can be harmful in excess. High sodium intake is linked to increased blood pressure and a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. It's important to consume unrefined salts in moderation.

  2. Risk of Contamination: Like any natural product, unrefined salts can be subject to contamination depending on their source and how they are harvested. It's advisable to choose salts from reputable sources to minimise the risk of ingesting harmful substances.

  3. Iodine Deficiency: Unlike table salt, unrefined salts are typically not iodized. Iodine is an essential nutrient, and its deficiency can lead to thyroid problems. If you're using unrefined salt exclusively, ensure you're getting enough iodine from other dietary sources.

  4. Kidney Function: Individuals with kidney disease or reduced kidney function should be cautious with their salt intake, including unrefined salts, as their bodies may not efficiently remove excess sodium.

  5. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be cautious with their salt intake and consult with a healthcare provider to ensure their dietary choices support their health and the health of their baby.

  6. Interaction with Medications: High sodium intake can interfere with certain medications, including blood pressure medications, diuretics, and others. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you're on medication and considering changing your salt intake.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between Celtic sea salt and Himalayan pink salt?

  • Source and Appearance : Celtic sea salt is harvested from the Celtic Sea and has a greyish color due to the clay in the salt flats. It retains moisture, giving it a wet texture. Himalayan pink salt is mined from ancient sea beds in the Himalayas and is known for its striking pink color due to iron oxide.

  • Mineral Content : Both salts are rich in minerals, but their compositions differ. Celtic sea salt is high in minerals like magnesium and potassium, while Himalayan pink salt has less sodium and is rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium.

  • Culinary Use : Celtic sea salt's moist nature makes it suitable for cooking, while Himalayan pink salt's dry, granular form is ideal as a finishing salt.

  • Environmental Impact : Celtic sea salt is traditionally harvested with minimal environmental impact. Himalayan pink salt mining varies in sustainability, depending on the practices used.

Is Celtic sea salt iodized?

No, Celtic sea salt is not typically iodized. It's a natural, unrefined salt that retains its mineral complexity. If you rely on salt as your primary source of iodine, you might need to look for other iodine sources or use iodized salt for some of your intake.

Does Celtic sea salt contain microplastics?

Recent studies have shown that microplastics can be found in sea salts. However, high-quality Celtic sea salt, harvested using traditional methods, is less likely to contain high levels of contaminants. It's important to choose products from reputable sources that follow proper harvesting and packaging practices.

How much Celtic sea salt should I take each day?

If you have no health issues, Dr James DiNicolantonio recommends the following from his book "The Salt Fix"


‚ÄúScientific research suggests that the optimal range for sodium intake is 3 to 6 grams per day (about 1‚Öď to 2‚ÖĒ teaspoons of salt) for healthy adults, not the 2,300 milligrams of sodium (less than 1 teaspoon of salt) per day that‚Äôs commonly advised. And some people need even more.‚ÄĚ


Please start with much smaller amounts to see how your body reacts.

References and Further Reading:


  • Electrolytes and Health:¬†"Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk" by the National Academies Press. This resource examines the essential roles of electrolytes like sodium and potassium in health, detailing their importance in fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle activity. Access the resource.¬†
  • Fluid Balance Principles:¬†"Fluid balance concepts in medicine: Principles and practice" by Maria-Eleni Roumelioti et al., in World Journal of Nephrology, 2018. This study delves into the critical aspects of body fluid balance, highlighting the regulation of sodium salt balance, extracellular volume, and the complexities of fluid management in severe illnesses. ¬†Access the study.
  • Health Effects of Natural Sea Salt:¬†"Natural sea salt consumption confers protection against hypertension and kidney damage in Dahl salt-sensitive rats" by Food & Nutrition Research, 2017. This study investigates the health effects of natural sea salt compared to refined salt in an animal model of hypertension. It found that natural sea salt induced less hypertension and had a less detrimental impact on kidney morphology compared to refined salt, suggesting potential health benefits of natural sea salt over refined salt.¬†Read the full study.¬†

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Author: Pard Bharaj

I am a dedicated researcher with nearly a decade of experience in investigating health best practices. My journey in the health and wellness field has been driven by a passion for understanding and sharing the most effective ways to maintain and improve health. Over the years, I have delved into a wide range of topics, constantly seeking out the latest research and insights. My commitment is to provide well-researched, accurate, and trustworthy information to help readers make informed decisions about their health.

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