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Unrefined sea salt has become increasingly mainstream in the last few years, and its fans rave constantly about it—specifically, about its preferable flavor as well as its health benefits. That may come as a surprise to you, especially if you’re familiar with salt as that thing that you’re supposed to limit in your diet. But as it turns out, unrefined sea salt has some real advantages over conventional refined salt.

A basic course in nutrition will teach you that many nutrients don’t work well alone. Like a codependent girlfriend, they need a partner to give them purpose. Sometimes these partner nutrients work symbiotically to become something greater, sometimes they keep each other in check, sometimes they compete, and sometimes they cancel each other clean out—much like with people, it depends on the pairing. Calcium’s buddy is Vitamin D (suddenly those fortified milks make more sense), Vitamin B12’s is folate, and cancer-fighting lycopene’s is fat. This is one of the reasons we are encouraged to get as many nutrients as possible through a varied diet instead of vitamin supplements.

Similarly, sodium is best when paired with potassium—which occurs naturally, along with about 60 other trace minerals, in Real Salt. Potassium helps mitigate some of sodium’s more potentially problematic effects by encouraging the kidneys to excrete excess sodium. It’s a check and balance put in place by nature. That’s one of the reasons we leave Real Salt’s full mineral profile in place—we really do think that when it comes to salt, nature got it right. Conventional refined table salt (the white salt most of us grew up using) simply doesn’t give your body the minerals it needs to most effectively use sodium.

White Ain’t Right

Just as we’ve come to understand the pitfalls of refined white sugar, more and more people are beginning to see that refined white salt is also not the best choice. Dr. David Brownstein, author of Salt Your Way to Health, advocates the use of unrefined salt, saying, “What conventional doctors and most mainstream organizations have failed to grasp is the difference between refined salt and unrefined salt…Refined salt lacks minerals and causes acidosis (lowered pH). Our bodies were meant to function optimally with adequate mineral levels and adequate salt intake. Only the use of unrefined salt can provide both of these factors.”

Because it is unrefined, Real Salt contains several essential mineral electrolytes that improve hydration, without the refined sugar and questionable food dyes found in the sports drinks on the supermarket shelves. Electrolytes also assist in muscle contraction and nerve impulses due to the electric energy they create in the body.

Savor the Flavor

In addition to potential health benefits, the minerals in Real Salt add to its taste, giving it a subtle, sweet flavor unlike any other salt on earth. Cardiologist and chef Michael S. Fenster, MD, says, “Salt is necessary for life. It is essential to create properly seasoned and delicious food. I love the complexity and richness that Real Salt adds. With over sixty trace minerals, they do not need to add or remove anything; it is perfectly balanced by Nature. Real Salt makes real food real scrumptious.”

Even when incorporated into a recipe, the taste difference Real Salt provides is apparent, as the makers of CLIF discovered. They taste-tested Real Salt in their Margarita Bloks and CLIF SHOT Brand Manager Chris Randall said, “RealSalt stood out from the crowd. In side by side tests with Margarita Bloks made from other sea salts, those made with Real Salt literally won unanimous approval from our internal taste panel. The taste difference is that apparent.”

It’s not often that something good for you actually tastes better than the alternatives (we’re looking at you, kale), but with Real Salt, the dream is reality. Try it in place of your old table salt and see what good it can do for you.

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