We hopefully all remember the hours spent memorizing the elements on the periodic table in high school, sodium and chlorine among them. If you truly paid attention, you learned these elements make up salt.

Both elements are absolutely essential for our bodies to function properly. Our sodium intake comes primarily from the foods we prepare and eat. Surprisingly, there are several kinds of salt to choose from.

Refined Table Salt

Call it ubiquitous. Your probably use this kind of salt at all your meals. According to Authority Nutrition, this kind of salt is heavily ground so most impurities and minerals are removed. An issue with salt this heavily ground is that it easily clumps up, which is why anti-caking agents are added.

Table salt is surprisingly almost always 97% chloride and iodine is frequently added to help prevent against iodine deficiency in people consuming it.

Sea Salt

Jennifer Elias

This salt is made simply by evaporating sea water. However, unlike table salt, it occasionally does contain minerals like potassium, iron and zinc. These minerals might also be the cause of different tastes to various kinds of sea salt.

In some areas where the oceans are heavily polluted, there may be a greater chance for heavy metals. In comparison to table salt, sea salt is less refined and naturally has bigger crystals.

Real Simple suggests that this salt is best used for adding small bursts of flavor to foods that are already cooked. This salt is a little on the pricer side and will usually cost between $2-$15 per pound.

Himalayan Pink Salt

This type of salt is a little more rare than the first two. It is actually harvested in Pakistan from the Khewra Salt Mine, which is reportedly the second largest salt mine in the world

The pink color actually comes from iron oxide, not food coloring, or artificial elements. Unlike table salt and sea salt, it contains fewer less sodium and contains abundant minerals like, iron, potassium and magnesium. 

Kosher Salt

This salt is referred to as kosher as per Jewish dietary demands, and is produced under kosher supervision. It got it's name as this type of salt is used to extract blood from meat before it can be eaten. Because of the salt's course, flaky structure, it makes extracting the blood a lot easier.

The main difference between kosher salt and regular salt is the texture and size of the flakes, but less frequently contains anti-caking agents or iodine. This salt dissolves fast and is most effectively used for curing meat, and you can buy a pound for a little as $1. 

Rock Salt

Im sure you all remember making ice cream in your elementary school science class, and one of the main ingredients was actually rock salt.

This salt is actually not used for cooking, but is often used to make homemade ice cream or to melt salt on sidewalks. It's usually mined from deposits in the earth, and the crystals are large and chunky. 

You can pick and choose any kind of salt you like best to consume, and experiment with the different textures and tastes of each. Like any food product, the options range from cheap, everyday bulk options to expensive artisan picks. And as always, consume in moderation.