Most of us are deficient in some of the minerals our body needs to function optimally. We can prevent chronic disease by adding trace amounts of these elements, like boron, manganese, molybdenum and selenium. But which is better – Celtic salt vs Himalayan salt?

For me, the short answer is Celtic salt. I use it every day. I’ll explain why and show you the origins, mineral makeup, flavor profiles and health implications of each salt so you can decide for yourself.

Key Takeaways

  • Celtic sea salt is traditionally harvested in Brittany, France, is quite moist and known for its distinctive grey color and enhanced flavor profile. Himalayan pink salt has a similarly high mineral content and is valued for its purity and subtle taste.
  • Both Celtic and Himalayan salts offer varied mineral profiles that contribute to their unique flavors and potential health benefits. Celtic salt contains at least 75 minerals, and Himalayan salt possesses up to 84, which can improve overall wellness compared to regular table salt.
  • The sustainability and environmental impact of salt production is a factor for consumers, with Celtic salt being much more eco-friendly due to its solar evaporation production method, and concerns about the potential ecological damage from Himalayan salt mining.
Celtic Salt vs Himalayan Salt side by side in small white pots

Table Salt vs Celtic Salt vs Himalayan Salt

Salt is just salt, isn’t it? Take a closer look, and you’ll find that actually, not all salts are created equal, with plain old table salt at the bottom of the pile. Table salt is made up mostly of sodium chloride. While it does contain some additional minerals, the amounts are significantly smaller and fewer than Celtic salt and Himalayan salt.

As the health benefits of trace minerals become better understood, you will increasingly hear high-profile figures and entrepreneurs talking about this subject in relation to nutrition.

While sea salts and rock salt, like these two, have been used interchangeably in kitchens around the world, their roots are as different as their appearance. Let’s examine the unique characteristics of Celtic sea salt and pink Himalayan salt to find out what makes them different.

The Origins of Celtic Sea Salt

Celtic sea salt comes from the Atlantic coasts of France and, to a lesser extent, Spain. It is still harvested using wooden tools, from time-honored traditions dating back centuries and passed down through generations of salt farmers.

A handful of Celtic salt is surprisingly moist to the touch, owing to its 15% moisture content. Its signature grey color points to its mineral density, in particular magnesium.

From there, Celtic salt is dried using the purest of solar evaporation techniques, where wind and sunlight gently coax the moisture from the crystals. This unhurried process not only respects the environment but also preserves the salt’s rich mineral composition. Open a bag, and you’ll quickly figure out that Celtic salt is born of the sea and the sun, carrying the distinctive essence of the Celtic Sea.

The Origins of Himalayan Pink Salt

We couldn’t get much further from the coastline in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. The original source of the renowned pink Himalayan salt is the ancient Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan. And, while it’s now geographically far from the ocean, the crystals were formed millions of years ago when ancient sea beds dried up, leaving behind salt deposits deep within the earth.

In case you’re wondering, the characteristic pink hue that gives this salt its name is the result of iron oxide (a.k.a. rust, but don’t let that put you off) mingling with other trace minerals. While still mined in the Himalayas, beware of other countries selling salt with a pink color that is less pure but still marketed as Himalayan salt.

The periodic table showing different natural elements

Comparing Mineral Content


Celtic salt has fewer trace minerals than Himalayan salt, but not many. The one I buy, pictured here, has a blend of 82 minerals, while Himalayan has upwards of 84.

It’s made up of 33% sodium and 51% chloride. That lower sodium concentration gives it a less salty taste. So, to get the health benefits of all those essential minerals, I dissolve a 1/4 teaspoon of Celtic salt in a glass of water every morning. While it’s not the most delicious drink ever, it doesn’t taste horrible or unpleasantly salty.


Always seek personalized advice from healthcare professionals or dietitians to make salt choices that align with your body and health goals.


While Himalayan salt usually has a few more minerals than Celtic salt, some of those minerals are different or contained in different amounts. For instance, both contain iron, but Himalayan salt has a much higher trace amount, which gives it that pink color.

Hand sprinkling salt onto food to enhance the flavor

Tasting Notes: Flavor Profiles of Natural Salts


As I mentioned above, Celtic salt tastes less… well, salty! I find that it has more of a briny flavor, which makes it the preferred choice for many in the kitchen.

  • Brining/Curing: Due to that mild flavor, Celtic salt is ideal for brining or curing meats and poultry. It helps to add flavor, retain moisture, and tenderize the meat during the brining process.
  • Baking: Bakers often prefer Celtic salt because they say it distributes more evenly in dough and batter.
  • Pickling: Picklers (surely that’s a word) often prefer Celtic salt for its more natural and less processed origins when making pickles. It can add a greater depth of flavor to pickled vegetables without overwhelming them.
  • Seasoning: Naturally, Celtic salt’s more subtle taste makes it an ideal seasoning salt. It can be sprinkled over any dish to enhance the flavor.


While Himalayan salt tastes saltier than Celtic salt, it has a much more subtle flavor profile than table salt, so you can understand why it’s a favourite in professional and amateur kitchens alike.

  • Grilling and roasting: Himalayan salt blocks or plates (big blocks of Himalayan salt) are often heated for grilling and roasting meats, seafood or vegetables to add a subtle salty flavor.
  • Curing and pickling: Some people prefer Himalayan salt for curing or pickling. Its unique flavor allows it to preserve foods while adding a more complex taste.
  • Seasoning: Choosing between the two salts will probably hinge on personal taste. Celtic’s potent briny punch or Himalayan’s gentler touch

Try both and see which one you prefer!

A doctor holding up his stethoscope to a screen displaying a number of health symbols

Health Implications: Sodium and Mineral Balance

The most obvious health benefit you could make is switching from heavily processed table salt to either of these mineral-rich alternatives.

Celtic salt and Himalayan salt offer more than just seasoning – they bring a host of health benefits to the table. Many chronic diseases are caused by simple deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.

  • Mineral richness: Both salts contain a variety of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which are essential for maintaining good health. It is estimated that over 75% of Americans are deficient in one or more essential minerals.
  • Electrolyte balance: The minerals in Celtic and Himalayan salts can help maintain a healthy electrolyte balance in the body. These are essential for proper hydration, nerve function, and muscle contractions. 
  • Digestive health: Some people believe that the trace minerals consumed with these salts can aid digestion and improve the absorption of other nutrients in the food you eat.
  • Reduced sodium intake: Celtic salt is often praised for its coarser texture, which can make it easier to pinch and sprinkle. Because of this, people tend to use less Celtic salt compared to fine table salt to achieve the same level of saltiness in their dishes. 
  • Lower environmental impact: Celtic salt production methods, such as solar evaporation, are considered more environmentally friendly compared to some other salt production processes, which may involve heavy machinery and energy consumption.
  • Blood pressure: While too much sodium can raise blood pressure, Celtic and Himalayan salts’ lower sodium content (compared to table salt) is better for you.
  • Immune system: These essential minerals benefit your immunity, heart health, and wound healing.

General symptoms of nutrient deficiency include:

  • General fatigue
  • Reduced ability to fight infections
  • Impaired cognitive function (affecting concentration, memory and mood)

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

In the quest for the perfect pinch of salt, the discerning consumer must consider not only taste and health but also environmental impact and sustainability. With its reliance on solar evaporation, Celtic salt embodies a more eco-friendly approach to salt production, harnessing the power of the sun and wind to create its signature crystals.

However, the extraction of Himalayan pink salt is not without its environmental footprint. The mining processes in the Himalayas vary, and though often lauded for their minimal pollution, some still raise questions about land use and ecological balance.

It is a complex issue, and the perceived health benefits of Himalayan salt have to be weighed against the potential environmental impacts of its extraction.

If environmental conscience is a concern, the choice between Celtic salt and Himalayan salt might hinge on finding sustainably sourced options. Understanding the impact of large-scale salt harvesting and choosing responsibly can help minimize environmental harm while still enjoying the health benefits of these natural salts.

A collection of spoons containing different types of salt

Navigating the Market: Choosing Your Ideal Salt

As we traverse the market of natural salts, the challenge becomes finding the ideal salt that aligns with our unique tastes, health requirements, and ethical standards. The selection of celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink salt is not merely a culinary decision but a significant health consideration with implications that extend beyond the dinner plate.

Himalayan pink salt is often celebrated for its purity, considered the purest form of salt free from environmental pollution, and this sets a high standard for quality. Yet, Celtic salt’s traditional harvesting methods and balanced mineral profile offer their own allure. The key lies in evaluating the various factors at play, including balance, health requirements, and sustainability practices.

Ultimately, the journey toward choosing your ideal salt is a personal one, guided by individual preferences and the knowledge that each pinch of salt carries with it a story of its origin and a promise of its health benefits. Seek advice, explore the options, and let your palate and principles be your compass in the world of natural salts.

Not Just for Cooking: Other Uses of Celtic and Himalayan Salts

The versatility of Celtic and Himalayan sea salt goes well beyond its culinary applications, making its way into a wide range of wellness practices. Offering more than just flavou, they are believed to possess health benefits that can rejuvenate the body and mind.

Celtic salt, with its rich mineral content, is the salt of choice for a soothing bath soak or scrub, believed to draw out impurities and provide a restorative experience. On the other hand, Himalayan salt is often used in foot soaks and salt lamps to improve air quality and promote relaxation.

Claims of enhanced respiratory health through inhaling near Himalayan salt caves (or, more practically, using salt inhalers) highlight their multiple uses. These practices, rooted in the belief in the salts’ ability to balance the body’s pH and draw out toxins, highlight the holistic appeal of Celtic and Himalayan salts.

A selection of whole foods and a pot of salt

Comparing the Culinary Canvas: Salt’s Role in Whole Foods

In cooking, the role of salt extends beyond simply adding flavor. It’s about how it interacts with whole foods to accentuate their natural richness. The size and coarseness of salt granules play a crucial role in how they dissolve and add that flavor, with larger granules offering a burst of taste when sprinkled on top of dishes.

Choosing the right salt and grain size is key to preventing oversalting and ensuring that each meal is perfectly seasoned. The way salt interacts with the flavors of meats and vegetables can elevate a simple meal to a culinary delight – a process well understood through the tradition of kashering.

Remember that using salt in moderation is key to maintaining a healthy diet.

The Bottom Line

As we reach the end of our journey through the world of Celtic sea salt and Himalayan pink salt, it’s clear that each has its own merits. Whether it’s the mineral-rich composition, the unique flavor profiles, or the sustainable harvesting practices, both salts offer a wealth of benefits that extend far beyond their culinary uses.

So, which side do I come down on?

Some Himalayan salt is being passed off as originating in Pakistan but actually comes from less nutrient-dense sources. In particular, China, where some of the salt is contaminated with toxic heavy metals. There are also question marks over environmental damage from some mining practices. For these reasons, I choose Celtic salt over Himalayan, even though contamination from the microplastics in our oceans is possible.


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

The main difference between Celtic sea salt and Himalayan pink salt is their origins and moisture content. Celtic sea salt is harvested from coastal areas of France with around 15% moisture, while Himalayan pink salt is mined from rock deposits in Pakistan with a moisture content of about 0.1 to 0.3%. Celtic salt is grey in color, while Himalayan salt is pink due to high levels of iron oxide.

Which salt has a higher mineral content, Celtic or Himalayan?

Celtic sea salt has a more balanced mineral profile and, with only 33% sodium, is higher in mineral content. However, Himalayan salt has more trace minerals, with at least 84.

Can salt consumption affect blood pressure?

Yes, excessive salt consumption can raise blood pressure. However, using Celtic or Himalayan salt, which has a lower sodium content than regular table salt, may be beneficial for managing high blood pressure.

Are there any environmental concerns associated with salt production?

Yes, large-scale salt harvesting can impact land use and water quality, making it important to seek sustainably sourced options for salt production. For a more eco-friendly choice, consider Celtic salt over Himalayan salt.

Are there other uses for Celtic and Himalayan salts besides cooking?

Yes, both Celtic and Himalayan salts are used in wellness practices such as detoxifying bath soaks, foot soaks, and salt scrubs, as well as in products like salt lamps and inhalers to improve air quality and respiratory health.

Editorial Process

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Image of the author Richard Riviere

Richard Riviere

Richard Riviere is a former wage slave who decided there must be more to life. Turning 50, he quit his job to try earning an income online and get his life back. From knowing zero about e-commerce, he managed to replace his 9-5 income within a year. He now teaches other midlifers how to start living life on their own terms.