While the American Heart Association and the Mayo Clinic explain that sea salt contains the same amount of sodium as table salt, Shape Magazine suggests that sea salt constitutes unrefined salt that provides electrolytes, which maintain water balance in the body and assist in nerve and muscle function. Dr. David Brownstein tells the magazine that unrefined salt also supplies minerals that aid the immune system.
While the AHA does not claim that sea salt has health benefits over table salt, the organization explains that the two types of salt go through different manufacturing processes. Sea salt comes directly from evaporating the salt from sea water. If it goes through processing, it goes through minimal processing, which helps it retain trace levels of minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and other nutrients. However, the processing of table salt strips it of any trace of minerals and incorporates additives to prevent clumping or caking.
The Mayo Clinic also explains that table salt contains the additive iodine, an essential nutrient that helps maintain a healthy thyroid. Otherwise, both the AHA and the Mayo Clinic find that sea salt does not have any additional health benefits since the amount of sodium remains the same as table salt when compared by weight.