Pinch Me: How Our New Seasoning Salt Supports Your Thyroid Health
Sep 28, 2022
By Casie Giroux
As part of our Fall 2022 Inside Scoop, we formulated the Pinch Me finishing salt to boost the nutrition (and flavor!) of your meals through mineral-rich salt, herbs, and seaweeds. Modern diets are often lacking in essential minerals and nutrients our bodies need to function optimally, and mineral deficiency can be a root cause of many health issues. Pinch Me offers preventative thyroid support by providing minerals that our thyroid needs to operate healthfully—particularly iodine. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide. Iodine is not naturally produced in our bodies, so we need to receive this essential trace mineral from our diets. Aside from the health benefits, Pinch Me is a perfect finishing salt addition to your morning eggs or avocado toast, roasted or raw vegetables, soups and stews, and grains.
Read on for a full rundown of the thyroid-supporting ingredients in this tasty salt.
We partnered with Pineapple Collaborative to create this product using their “The Salt,” which has impeccable mineral quality and is harvested by hand in the Peruvian Andes. The blush pink salt is produced in partnership with Sarela Herrada of SIMPLi and Yolanda Acurio Mendoza of the women-run cooperative Comnuidad Salinera de Maras. The co-op harvests the salt by hand from the salt ponds in the Peruvian Andes – the delicate process helps retain the rich content of calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium in the salt.
Kombu is a brown seaweed or kelp that is a key feature in East Asian diets but is often lacking in western diets. All seaweeds are a nutrient-dense food rich in vitamins (A, B1, B2, B9, B12, C, D, E, and K), beta-carotenes, fiber, and essential minerals and amino acids. They are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids while maintaining a low lipid content. Brown seaweeds contain more beneficial bioactive compounds than red or green seaweeds. Kombu contains the highest amount of iodine of all the seaweeds so small amounts of consumption per day can help keep us in balance and prevent possible iodine deficiency disorders like hypothyroidism. Another feature of brown seaweeds (like kombu and bladderwrack) is that they contain sodium alginate which can bind to heavy metals to move them out of the body. Several clinical studies have demonstrated the significant antioxidant activity and the richness of polyphenols present in kelp – finding it may be one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature. Plant polyphenols help prevent our bodies from excess UV radiation and aid in overall disease prevention. Lastly, regular ingestion of kombu demonstrates antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and hepatoprotective properties.
Like kombu, bladderwrack is also a brown seaweed, so it contains many of the same health benefits. But bladderwrack does contain some unique attributes that set it apart. It contains a carotenoid called fucoxanthin. Studies have shown that ingestion of fucoxanthin from seaweeds can contribute to a reduction in body weight through improving fat metabolism and inhibiting fat production. In addition to fucoxanthin, bladderwrack contains the active compounds fucoidans & phlorotannins.These three compounds have shown therapeutic benefits for skin conditions like psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and other inflammatory conditions. In general, the high micro and macronutrient content of brown seaweeds has demonstrated potential support for prevention and management of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders.
Nigella seeds have a long history of use in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In Arabic, nigella is known as “the seed of blessing.” Its traditional use spans the body systems through its support in managing asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and an array of other inflammatory conditions. For the gut, it is useful for easing indigestion, increasing appetite, and regulating the bowels. Modern research on the seeds' benefits are extensive but its thyroid support possibilities make it a perfect fit for this salt blend. Hashimoto's disease is often associated with increased cholesterol levels –specifically bad cholesterol– and blood sugar imbalances. A recent clinical study revealed that after eight weeks of nigella seed supplementation, Hashimoto’s patients saw significantly lowered “bad” cholesterol and an increase in “good” cholesterol levels as well an overall lower BMI (body mass index). Another study showed similar benefits for the status of patients with Hashimoto’s. Beyond thyroid conditions, consistent ingestion of nigella seeds is associated with reducing overall total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Nettle leaf has been utilized for centuries for its high nutrient content and wide array of health benefits. The protein content alone accounts for almost 30% of the overall mass and the minerals account for nearly 20% of the dry weight. The leaves are abundant in Vitamin C, D & K, offer a significant dose of magnesium, silica, and potassium, and are rich in highly bioavailable calcium. They are rich in chlorophyll, which contributes to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and alkalinity in the body. Nettle is considered a tonic herb, with its long term use benefitting our bodies as a whole. Nettle has a particular affinity for the kidneys: helping to prevent kidney stones, supporting gentle detox, and aiding in blood sugar regulation. But nettle supports almost every body system – contributing to bone strength, improving blood circulation, and reducing inflammation.
If you were wondering how to simply add health-supporting plants to your food, Pinch Me is the perfect addition to your countertop for thyroid support in a pinch.
About Casie Giroux
Casie Giroux is a Clinical Herbalist with a background in communication sciences, herbal product formulation and creation, sustainable wildcrafting, teaching, and organic farming. She earned her certification through the California School of Herbal Studies in Forestville, CA. On the weekends you can find her playing in the garden, foraging for abundant plants, and camping by the water.