Only unrefined sea salt contains dozens of nutritious trace minerals. When salt is refined—which may include heating, grinding, bleaching, and rearranging in flakes or other shapes—precious trace minerals in ocean water are lost and what’s left is straight sodium chloride.
Unrefined salt, by contrast, contains about 84 percent sodium chloride. The rest is magnesium, calcium, potassium, iodine, and other minerals and trace elements essential to every human function, from digestion to adrenal function to blood pressure.
Don’t buy plain “sea salt.” Look for “hand harvested,” “unrefined,” and “traditional.” Unrefined sea salt may be white, off-white, gray, or pinkish and slightly moist. Salts I like are Maldon, Celtic, and Jacobsen.