Sodium or salt is an essential ingredient for the body and play a vital role in cell functioning. However, only small portion of salt is recommended for everyday consumption to maintain our health. First of all it is important to understand why we need salt. Salt balances the fluid levels in the body and helps the nerves and muscles to function properly. Excessive salt or no salt can lead to fluid retention and weight gain of the body.
How sodium affects your health?
Excessive sodium is more dangerous than eating no sodium at all. It causes a health decline and leads to several chronic problems. Sodium is found in excess quantities in preserved foods, junk foods and aerated drinks.
High blood pressure
One out of five people in the world suffer from high blood pressure. Causes for this syndrome may be due to genes, lifestyle or food that they eat. An adult is not supposed to consume more than 6 grams of salt in a day. On an average most of us consume thrice the amount of recommended levels. Sodium slows down the blood flow by causing blockades in the arteries. Excessive salt is not digested by the kidneys and it does not dissolve in blood either. Salt just forms silt on the walls of arteries leading to blocks.
Osteoporosis is a condition related to the bones and causes bone mass depletion. Bones become weak and supple due to this disease. A higher level of salt in the blood system leads to calcium depletion and causes the kidneys to excrete calcium from the body. The bones are deprived of calcium and become weak over a period of time.
The human kidneys do not understand how to process excessive salt. So they flush the sodium back into the blood stream. Also salt deposits itself on kidney walls in the process and blocks its pores. Eventually this phenomenon leads to kidney damage. Kidneys are one of the most essential organs of the body because they regulate blood pressure.
Sodium can trigger asthmatic attacks by causing a histamine response by the body leading to an allergic reaction. Salt messes up the respiratory organs as well which makes a condition like asthma lot worse.
Leads to obesity
Eating salty foods for long periods of time will eventually lead to obesity and increase the risk of heart attack. It can also lead to other disorders like diabetes and kidney failure as a result. People who are obese usually suffer from all the above problems and the main reason for this increased intake of salt.
Anything consumed in excess is considered as harmful in several cultures. Nevertheless Sodium is one of the essential minerals that have an important role to play in our everyday health. Like any other mineral the body needs only a small amount of it. The main reason why we consume sodium so much is because it adds taste to the food. Cutting down on salt and keeping it in moderate proportion has larger health benefits.