For many decades, salt has been used for multiple purposes, such as in food preparations. However, it doesn’t only serve as a kind of seasoning, but it could also be used as a binding agent, color controller, and is essential for food fermentations.
Sodium is undoubtedly one of the most important mineral components to maintain a healthy diet. Although its consumption would depend on the individual’s eating habits, the foods that we eat in our daily life naturally contain this mineral.
In addition to that, here are the reasons why we should moderately add salt to our meals:
1. Accentuates The Taste And Flavor Of Your Food
When salt is added to food, its universal flavor improves its overall taste. Even with low amounts of salt, it’ll help reduce bitterness, increase the sweet, sour, or umami, flavor since it collaborates with the salt profile. However, if you add more salt, it’ll gear more on the umami taste, which eventually matches the savory meals and dishes. Essentially, these different results are based on the amount of salt used.
That’s why in baking pastries and cakes, only a minimal amount of salt is added, while more salt is put into savory dishes like soups and proteins. If you’re intentionally preparing for a salty dish, then you can utilize salt in its purest form without interfering with other flavors. Once you check out many recipes online, you’ll realize that there are many foods and dishes that require a little salt to enhance their taste profiles.
There are many kinds of salts that are available in the market, all of which have their respective attributes and properties. The right type of salt is effective in bringing out the flavor of a dish.
For instance, table salt is perfect for seasoning meat and adding to pasta water due to its fine grains. Kosher salt is often patronized by professional chefs in seasoning their meat proteins. Himalayan salt is a great choice for adding flavor to fish, vegetables, and poultry dishes. Lastly, sea salt, which contains more sodium than other salts, is used to diversify the textures of different dishes.
2. Helps Preserve Food and Dishes
One of the additional merits of using salt in dishes is its role as a natural preservative. In the past until the current generation, salt has been capable of extending the longevity of meat, dairy products, fish, and many more dishes. Long before freezing and other methods of food preservations were discovered, salt had been the original and most effective way to preserve foods.
There are many different salts and substitutes that are used in many household and restaurant kitchens these days. Salt brine is responsible for drying out the bacteria cells and it hampers the development of bacterial growth, too. This process makes it possible for food to avoid spoiling, which eliminates any chances of food poisoning.
Even with the evolution of food industry technology and preservation methods, salt still remains to be used as a potent food aid for preservation.
3. Has Health Benefits That Contribute To Our Health
Although many doctors suggest limiting salt consumption due to its adverse effects, it shouldn’t be completely eliminated from our diet.
Here are the reasons why our body needs sodium:
- Functions as a balancer for the fluids in our blood and controls our blood pressure.
- Responsible for making our nerve and muscle function faultlessly.
- Promotes better thyroid function, making our metabolism active and strong.
- Keeps our body hydrated at all times and is responsible for electrolyte balance.
4. Contributes To The Entire Cooking Process
Although flavor and taste are the primary contributions of salt, it also plays another significant role in the cooking process. Depending on the dish that you’re cooking, it could possibly remove the moisture of sweating vegetables, easily softening them, which allows you to save time when preparing for your food. It also denatures proteins, making it soft and tender, perfect for easy eating and digestion.
When cooking sausages and hams, salt improves the condition of the proteins as it binds the moisture, meat, and fat altogether. Processed meats are often found to have a smooth and firm texture with the support of this stable emulsion. Other ingredients that are found in these food products are found to have a more even consistency.
Salt has that specific role in our cravings. We don’t really conform to the need of tasting something salty, but we would like to have a dish that contains salt in some ways. Hence, most of our meals and dishes would taste better once we sprinkle a dash of salt on them.