From Sea to Social Media

Mineral salts are making a big wave.

Celtic sea salt is an unrefined, low-sodium sea salt traditionally sourced off the Brittany Coast of France.

A trend on the popular social media platform TikTok is seeing it mixed with water or put on the tongue to improve hydration. This has led to an increase in sales at health food stores across the country.

Selina Naturally (Arden, NC) is the originator of the Celtic Sea Salt brand, which has become a globally recognized product known for its distinct taste and health benefits.

โ€œThe salt is sourced from pristine locations and Selina Naturally guarantees the use of only the highest quality ingredients, providing a pure and simple version,โ€ said Selina Delangre, owner and CEO of the company. โ€œThe diverse and versatile selection caters to various needs, and the companyโ€™s passion for salt stems from firsthand experiences of the health benefits.โ€

The ocean contains more than 90 minerals and trace elements and through careful harvesting, minimal processing and no artificial heat, the minerals can be preserved, according to Michael Sileck III, vice president of sales and marketing at SeaAgri Solutions (Atlanta, GA).

Trace Minerals offers Utah Sea Minerals and ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops, which are concentrated liquids naturally balanced to have a full spectrum of trace minerals harvested from Utahโ€™s Inland Sea, according to Dr. Darrin Starkey, director of education for Trace Minerals (Ogden, UT).

โ€œIt is dried in clay ponds using air and evaporation to concentrate it,โ€ said Starkey. โ€œOnce it has crystallized, it is then gathered by hand. This process allows the water to evaporate off and leave behind a salt chalk full of various minerals found in seawater.โ€

Starkey added mineral salts can be used by anyone who is looking to get more out of salt, especially since regular table salt doesnโ€™t supply the necessary minerals.

โ€œAdding mineral salts easily provides minerals into a daily routine without much effort and the trace elements found in mineral salts can provide needed electrolytes and can often easily be added into an individualโ€™s routine by using them for cooking/seasoning of food, or simply taken a pinch at a time,โ€ Starkey said.

Eden Foods (Clinton, MI) carries a Celtic sea salt in its product line. Michael Potter, Eden Foods chairman and president, noted that people are now beginning to understand the importance of sea salt. He agrees with Starkey that the trace mineral content makes Celtic sea salt more valuable compared to standard sodium chloride (table salt). He added that the bodyโ€™s cellular systems benefit from trace minerals and electrolytes.

โ€œCeltic sea salt is a premium source of electrolytes,โ€ Potter said. โ€œWhen you take Celtic sea salt, itโ€™s a very smooth transition from the crystalline form to a diluted, hydrated state.โ€

Sea Salt Safety

Potter said he doesnโ€™t find the TikTok trend dangerous. However, he said the only โ€œpotential caveatโ€ would be ingesting too much salt or water, especially in an era when doctors frequently warn patients about sodium consumption.

โ€œI donโ€™t think itโ€™s necessary to put it under your tongue if you add it to your food daily, said Lisa Proctor, manager at The Nutrition Source (West Boylston, MA). โ€œModeration is important here, but the act itself is harmless. Customers are telling me that they do feel more hydrated.โ€

Delangre said she is grateful for all the โ€œlove and testimonialsโ€ shared on social media including the TikTok trend. She trusts her consumersโ€™ common sense but encouraged them to verify information and science.

โ€œThe demand has reached unprecedented levels akin to a tidal wave due to factors such as viral videos, a book I wrote that was published, influential endorsements and enthusiastic customer referrals,โ€ Delangre said. โ€œThe increased demand has led to challenges in supply and necessitated changes and transitions with attention to maintaining quality.โ€

According to retailer Cathy L. Conlon, ND, owner of Acorn Vitamins Health Market (Copley, OH), there are many health benefits of Celtic sea salt including regulating blood pressure, eliminating preventing muscle cramps, building immunity, increasing energy and providing electrolyte balance.

โ€œI think [the trend] is good. It is educating, especially young people, on the benefits of natural health,โ€ Conlon said. โ€œMany people are beginning to understand the benefit of supporting the body without prescriptions.โ€

Keirstyn Johnson, manager and buyer at Vigโ€™s Health Food and Discount Supplements (Lewiston, ID), said Celtic sea salt and other mineral salts are great for supporting hydration and electrolyte levels.

โ€œI personally believe that mineral salts are a vital part to health and hydration,โ€ Johnson said. โ€œIf you are getting your mineral salts from a quality source, it is absolutely safe and effective.โ€

With Celtic sea saltโ€™s popularity, Johnson added her stores suffered from a lack of supply for an extensive period.

โ€œWe were unable to order Celtic sea salt for a solid six months and only ordered Himalayan salts,โ€ Johnson said. โ€œWe have since brought in another brand called Baja Gold that is very popular.โ€

SeaAgri Solutions is the manufacturer and distributor of Baja Gold. Sileck explained Celtic-style sea salt contains lower sodium levels, which can provide a more balanced diet.

โ€œUnrefined sea salts like Baja Gold are a great option to reduce sodium intake and add valuable minerals and trace elements into your diet,โ€ Sileck said. โ€œAnd even if you arenโ€™t purposefully seeking a nutritional change, Baja Goldโ€™s unique flavor is widely preferred versus traditional saltโ€™s bitter sodium taste.โ€

Over the last year, Sileck observed an increased popularity for unrefined salt products. Baja Gold is produced in North America year-round, so it is easy to meet rising demand from consumers.

โ€œMany customers are realizing that most salts today are heavily processed, have unknown origins and lack any mineral nutrition,โ€ Sileck said. โ€œHealth practitioners and nutritionists are helping to increase awareness and visibility to healthier options. This support has led to increases in demand and sales.โ€

Delangre advises consumers to be confident in the purity and the unaltered nature of Celtic Sea Salt products. The company tests for various elements while also ensuring the absence of pollutants such as lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, microplastics and microorganisms.

โ€œThe analyses are consistent, and there is evidence that natural, unrefined sea salt undergoes a miraculous process that separates it from potential ocean pollution,โ€ Delangre said.

Starkey added he has been getting more questions about mineral-rich salts especially as social media draws more attention to the products.

โ€œI think we need to get more minerals into our diets and the TikTok trend is definitely helping get the word out there about the importance of them,โ€ Starkey said. โ€œI do believe that salt is an important electrolyte, but consumers need to be aware of other full-spectrum, low-sodium options that are available and that can โ€˜feedโ€™ needed minerals throughout the entire day, as well.โ€VR

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