131. Salt effect. If you eat it blandly, it’s rather poisonous


Salt, often considered a dietary villain, plays a critical role in maintaining the body’s overall health and well-being. While excessive salt consumption can lead to health issues, it’s equally important to recognize the positive effects of salt on the body. In this article, we’ll explore the lesser-known benefits of salt and how it contributes to our physiological functions.



1. Electrolyte Balance

Salt, primarily composed of sodium and chloride ions, is a cornerstone for maintaining electrolyte balance in the body. Electrolytes are essential for various physiological processes, including muscle contractions, nerve function, and fluid balance. Sodium, in particular, helps regulate blood pressure and supports proper nerve signaling. Maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance through salt intake is crucial for normal bodily functions.


2. Muscle Function and Contractions

Salt is indispensable for muscle function. When you consume salt, it ensures that your muscles receive the necessary electrical signals for contraction and relaxation. Without proper salt intake, muscle cramps and weakness can occur. Athletes, in particular, rely on sufficient salt intake to prevent muscle fatigue during exercise.




3. Nerve Function

Sodium, a key component of salt, is essential for nerve function. It helps transmit electrical signals between nerve cells, allowing us to move, think, and feel sensations. Adequate salt intake ensures that our nervous system operates smoothly.


4. Hydration and Fluid Balance

Salt plays a vital role in maintaining proper hydration and fluid balance in the body. It prevents excess water loss by promoting the reabsorption of water in the kidneys. This is especially important in hot and humid climates or during strenuous physical activity. Salt helps prevent dehydration and ensures the body retains enough fluids for various bodily functions.




5. Digestion and Stomach Acid Production

Adequate salt intake is crucial for digestion. Salt, in the form of chloride ions, combines with hydrogen ions in the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid. This acid is necessary for breaking down food, aiding in digestion, and killing harmful bacteria in the stomach.


6. Immune System Support

Salt is a natural antimicrobial agent. Historically, it has been used to preserve food by preventing the growth of harmful microorganisms. In the body, salt can support the immune system by helping to kill pathogens and maintaining a healthy environment in bodily fluids. Adequate salt intake can assist the body in fighting off infections and illnesses.


7. Skin Health

Salt, especially when used topically in salt scrubs or baths, can benefit the skin. It can help exfoliate dead skin cells, improve circulation, and promote overall skin health. Salt’s antimicrobial properties can also be beneficial for individuals with skin conditions.




8. Thyroid Function

Iodized salt, which is fortified with iodine, is crucial for thyroid function. Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism and play a role in energy production. Consuming iodized salt helps prevent iodine deficiency and supports optimal thyroid function.


9. Taste Enhancement and Appetite Regulation

Salt enhances the flavor of food, making it more enjoyable. It stimulates taste buds, making meals more satisfying. Additionally, consuming salt in moderation can help regulate appetite, preventing overeating and promoting a balanced diet.


10. Relief from Heat Stress

Salt can help the body cope with heat stress. When you sweat, you lose both water and salt. Replenishing lost salt through dietary sources or electrolyte beverages can prevent heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.


11. Cheonil Salt (천일염): Unveiling the Korean Bamboo Salt

Cheonil Salt, also known as 천일염 (Cheonilyeom) in Korean, is a unique type of salt with a rich history and special production process. It is often referred to as “Bamboo Salt” due to the traditional method of packing it in bamboo tubes during the final stages of production. Here’s everything you need to know about Cheonil Salt:




1) Origin and History

Cheonil Salt has its roots in Korean traditional medicine and dates back hundreds of years. It was originally developed as a medicinal remedy and has been used in Korean culture for its purported health benefits. The production method involves various stages and is considered a meticulous and time-consuming process.


2) Production Process

The production of Cheonil Salt involves unique steps that distinguish it from other types of salt:


  1. Salt Harvesting: Sea salt is collected as the starting material.
  2. Bamboo Tubes: The salt is placed in bamboo tubes, which can be up to nine times, each sealed with yellow clay. This sealing is believed to contribute to the salt’s distinctive properties.
  3. Roasting: The bamboo tubes are roasted in a special kiln at high temperatures, often reaching up to 1,000°C. This process varies in duration, with some producers roasting the salt nine times (hence the name Cheonil, meaning “thousand times”).
  4. Cooling and Grinding: After roasting, the salt is allowed to cool, then ground into fine particles. The grinding process may also involve using traditional grinding stones.

3) Health and Medicinal Claims

  • Detoxification: It is believed to help remove toxins from the body.
  • Anti-inflammatory: Some claim it has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Digestive Health: It is suggested to aid digestion and soothe stomach discomfort.
  • Oral Health: Cheonil Salt is also used in traditional oral care practices.

4) Culinary Use

Cheonil Salt is used as a condiment in Korean cuisine. It imparts a unique flavor and is sometimes preferred for its perceived health benefits. However, its distinct taste means that it may not be a direct substitute for other types of salt in all recipes.


5) Availability

Cheonil Salt is available in various forms, including fine powder, crystals, and even toothpaste. It is commonly found in Korean markets and specialty stores, especially those that cater to traditional and alternative medicine.


12. Other types of salt

Salt comes in various types, each with its unique characteristics. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right salt for your needs:


  • Table Salt: This is the most common type of salt. It is highly refined, typically contains added iodine (important for thyroid function), and is often used in baking and cooking. Its fine texture makes it ideal for most recipes.
  • Sea Salt: Sea salt is harvested from evaporated seawater. It comes in various textures, from fine to coarse, and may contain trace minerals that provide a slightly different flavor. Sea salt is an excellent choice for enhancing the taste of dishes.
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt has larger grains and no additives. It’s often used in koshering meats due to its ability to draw out blood. In cooking, it’s favored for its easy-to-pinch texture, making it great for seasoning food during cooking.
  • Himalayan Pink Salt: Mined from the Himalayan mountains, this salt has a pink hue due to its mineral content. It’s often used for its aesthetic appeal and unique flavor. While it can be used in cooking, it’s also popular as a finishing salt.
  • Rock Salt: This type of salt is primarily used for making homemade ice cream. It comes in larger crystals and can be crushed for various culinary applications.
  • Fleur de Sel: Known as the “flower of salt,” it’s hand-harvested from salt ponds. It has a delicate flavor and is often used as a finishing touch on dishes like salads and desserts.
  • Black Salt (Kala Namak): Black salt is a pungent-smelling salt with a distinctive sulfuric flavor. It’s used in various Indian dishes, especially in chaats and chutneys.
  • Smoked Salt: This salt is smoked over a wood fire, giving it a smoky flavor. It’s a fantastic addition to dishes like grilled meats, stews, and even cocktails.
  • Flake Salt: Flake salt, like Maldon salt, has thin, flat crystals. It’s often used as a finishing salt and adds a delightful crunch to dishes.
  • Select the type of salt that complements your culinary preferences and dietary requirements.


13. Salt-Enhanced Recipes: Salt Bread





  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt (sea salt or kosher salt for added flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture and mix until a dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  6. Punch down the risen dough and shape it into a loaf. Place it in a greased bread pan.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt for added flavor.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Let it cool before slicing and enjoying your homemade salt bread.




While excessive salt consumption can lead to health problems, it’s essential to recognize the positive effects of salt on the body. Salt plays a crucial role in maintaining electrolyte balance, supporting muscle and nerve function, promoting hydration, aiding digestion, and even enhancing skin health. By understanding and harnessing the benefits of salt, individuals can ensure that they maintain a well-rounded and healthy diet.



Q1: What is the difference between table salt and sea salt, and which one is healthier?

A1: Table salt is highly refined and often contains iodine, while sea salt is harvested from seawater and may contain trace minerals. The choice depends on personal preference and dietary needs.


Q2: Does using kosher salt affect the taste of food compared to other salts?

A2: Kosher salt has a larger grain size, making it easier to control while cooking. It can enhance the taste of dishes but doesn’t drastically alter the flavor.


Q3: Is Himalayan pink salt healthier than regular table salt?

A3: Himalayan pink salt contains trace minerals that may offer minor health benefits, but the differences are minimal. It’s often chosen for its unique flavor and aesthetic appeal.


Q4: What is the benefit of using iodized salt in cooking?

A4: Iodized salt is essential for preventing iodine deficiency, which can lead to thyroid problems. Using iodized salt ensures you get an adequate amount of this essential mineral.


Q5: Can I substitute one type of salt for another in recipes?

A5: Yes, you can generally substitute one type of salt for another, but be mindful of the salt’s texture and intensity. Coarser salts should be used in moderation, and fine-textured salts may require less.


Q6: How can I use black salt (Kala Namak) in cooking?

A6: Black salt is commonly used in Indian cuisine for its distinctive sulfuric flavor. It’s often added to chaats, chutneys, and fruit salads to enhance their taste.


Q7: Is smoked salt suitable for all types of dishes?

A7: Smoked salt adds a smoky flavor and is particularly great for grilled meats, stews, soups, and even cocktails. Experiment with it to find the dishes it complements best.


Q8: What makes flake salt unique, and where can it be used?

A8: Flake salt, like Maldon salt, has thin, flat crystals that provide a delightful crunch. It’s often used as a finishing touch on salads, roasted vegetables, and desserts.


Q9: Can you use rock salt in recipes other than making ice cream?

A9: While rock salt is commonly used for making ice cream, it can also be used for other culinary applications, such as salt-crusted dishes, preserving foods, and seasoning meats.


Q10: How much salt should be used in daily cooking for a balanced diet?

A10: The recommended daily salt intake varies by country and dietary guidelines, but it generally ranges from 2,000 to 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon). However, individual needs may vary based on factors such as age and activity level.

Select the type of salt that complements your culinary preferences and dietary requirements, and explore various recipes to enjoy the benefits of salt in your meals.


Today’s Quiz

Quiz: What is the traditional Korean salt known as Cheonil Salt often referred to as due to its production method?

A. Bamboo Salt

B. Sea Salt

C. Rock Salt

D. Kosher Salt

Answer: A. Bamboo Salt


Accuracy: 95%

National Institutes of Health (NIH) –
Medical News Today –
Healthline –
Mayo Clinic –
Cleveland Clinic –


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