Nutritionist, health experts and medical professionals all over the world agree that salt is an essential element of our health.
Health Benefits of Salt
1. Salt contains sodium which your body actually needs to keep your nerves, muscles and blood pressure work normally. Healthy people actually need 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams of sodium everyday. Every 2.5 grams of salt contains one gram of sodium.
2. All body fluids including the blood contain sodium. It plays a major role in maintaining the balance of fluids in your body. Aside from water, it also acts as a hydrator for your body. Low levels of sodium can actually make you dehydrated.
3. Your body needs sodium to produce electrical impulses in your muscles and nerves.
4. Normal blood pressure is essential for good health. A person can’t be considered healthy if his blood pressure is not within normal levels. Your sodium level in the body plays a big role in regulating your blood pressure.
Health Risks of Salt
There is no argument that your body needs salt to keep you in good health. But you should also take note that the excessive consumption of salty foods can lead to serious health problems.
1. It’s a fact that the sodium content of salt helps to regulate blood pressure, but consuming salt above the normal body requirement can lead to high blood pressure.
2. Excess salt in your body can accumulate in the blood which raises its volume and weight. This is not good for your heart as it has to work harder in order to facilitate circulation. Overtime, this can be harmful to your cardiovascular system and it makes you prone to artery and heart problems.
3. Excessive salt intake can cause water retention which can lead to high blood pressure. This increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
4. Another unhealthy effect of excessive salt intake is its tendency to cause stomach cancer and kidney problems. These can lead to other serious complications which can be fatal.
How to Minimize Salt Intake
1. Eat fresh meat and vegetables. Avoid using too much soy sauce, steak sauce and other salty sauces as these are high in sodium.
2. Limit the consumption of canned, processed and frozen foods because these are high in sodium. Sodium can also come from canned vegetables and packaged desserts.
You should always remember that your body needs salt to make it function normally, but it is needed in small amounts. Excessive salt intake is dangerous to your health.