Role of Sodium in our Body & Diet

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Role of Sodium in our Body & Diet

Sodium is a metallic element with a symbol ‘Na’ which is spread widely in nature, in the form of salts such as nitrates, carbonates, and chlorides. The metallic form of sodium is essential for making several organic compounds. The component sodium chloride (NaCl) is also found in various elements of nature. Sodium is the principal cation in the body’s extracellular fluid. It is also an essential nutrient needed to maintain plasma volume, acid-base balance, and normal cell functioning.

In healthy individuals, nearly 100% of sodium intake is absorbed during digestion and excretion in the form of urine is the primary mechanism for sodium balance maintenance. Sodium is an electrolyte and body cells conduct electricity through it. Sodium is responsible for the proper functioning of skeletal muscles and heart. If sodium intake is too much, the body will compensate for the added positively charged ions by retaining water.

Various sources of sodium:

Sodium is found naturally in a variety of foods, such as milk, meat, and shellfish. It is also found in high amounts, in processed foods such as breads, crackers, processed meats, and snack foods. High amounts of sodium are also found in many condiments (eg. Soy and Fish Sauces). Thus, a diet high in processed foods and low in fresh fruits and vegetables are often high in sodium. Some other examples are;

Grains

Pizzas

Soups

Cottage Cheese

Shrimps

Hamps

Spinach

Beets

Celery and Carrots

A single slice of bread can contain approximately 230mg of salt. Cured meat also contains a high level of sodium. Some soups contain sodium-rich flavor additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Normal Ranges of Sodium Intake:

The amount of sodium a person consumes each day varies from individual to individual. Some people get as little as 2gm/day, some as much as 20gm/day.

Various studies show variations in sodium intake like:

The WHO suggests consumption of 2,000mg (2gms/day) and the other country-specific heart associations suggests a much lower amount – 1500mg (1.5gms/day).

Health Effects of Sodium:

Increased intake of sodium leads to increased blood pressure, kidney damage, and also is associated with cardiovascular diseases. Various studies show the direct relationship between sodium intake and cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart diseases, and stroke. Fluid attracted sodium like a magnet so when we take in too much, extra fluid creates stress on the heart, which has to work harder to pump the fluid throughout your body. The more the workload on the heart that asserts pressure on the artery walls; can damage the cardiovascular system and raise blood pressure.

Some studies show that a decrease in intake of sodium leads to a decrease in blood pressure but there might be adverse effects on health from low blood pressure as well. This leads to a reduction in blood lipids which can lead to increased concentration of lipids in the blood.

High salt intake is also associated with kidney stones.

In postmenopausal women, high blood pressure leads to faster bone mineral density that is inversely associated with stroke incidence and cardiovascular mortality.

Salt Intake and Weight Management:

Being obese and overweight both leads to adverse health and psychological effects. The excess weight accumulation during childhood promotes the onset of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and also increases the risk of being overweight and obese in adulthood.

An unhealthy diet and excess underutilized energy is the main reason for excess weight gain. Being overweight and having a high salt intake are both factors that lead to hypertension. Clinical trials also have indicated that weight loss and sodium reduction; lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients and normotensive patients.

Several studies show the association between sodium intake and obesity may be bounded with energy intake. Foods which are high in sodium are also high in energy. The addition of common salt in food increases the palatability of food and also encourages greater energy intake. Salt is one of the major components which contributes to total body fluid balance. High salt intake induces thirst and increased fluid intake that is then retained in the intravascular compartment which caused bloating and puffiness leads to weight gain.

High salt intake is also associated with increased thirst and water retention, which can be confused with weight gain. Since sodium affects the appetite, overeating may lead to overweight. If you monitor your salt intake weight loss may occur from choosing fresh food, curbing your appetite and decreasing water weight.

BEAT BLOATING IN 3 DAYS:

 

DAY 1

INCLUDE SAUNF WATER AFTER EVERY MAIN MEAL

 

Instructions for preparation:

  • Boil 1 spoon of saunf in 3-4 glasses of water.
  • Seive it.
  • Cool it down at room temperature.
  • Consume it the whole day after main meals.

 

DAY 2

INCLUDE INFUSED MINT WATER WHOLE DAY

 

  • In a jar of water add few mint leaves and keep it overnight.
  • Consume this mint the water the whole day.

 

DAY 3

INCLUDE AJWAIN WATER AFTER EVERY MAIN MEAL

 

  • Boil 1 spoon of ajwain in 3-4 glasses of water.
  • Seive it.
  • Cool it down at room temperature.
  • Consume it the whole day after main meals.

 

These are the three home-made simple remedies that fight with the bloating factor of an individual.

 

“FULFILLING THE AIM OF BEATING BLOATING BECOMES EASY WITH THESE HOUSEHOLD REMEDIES”

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