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Health Benefits of Salt

 

The seasoning we all love to hate

Sodium is an essential micronutrient that regulates blood pressure and blood volume, is vital for the transport of carbon dioxide, muscle contraction, nerve transmission and amino acid transport.1 Excess sodium can result in adverse effects such as high blood pressure which predisposes to hypertension and heart disease. However, a sodium deficiency can be just as detrimental to your health. Here are a few of the reasons why you shouldn’t eliminate sodium from your diet entirely.

Water Balance

Sodium helps to regulate fluid levels in the human body. The balance between sodium and potassium ions helps maintain water balance in your cells.

Brain Function

The brain is very sensitive to change in sodium levels as it works to improve brain function. Deficiency of sodium often manifests as confusion and lethargy.2 A severe deficiency may even lead to convulsions or a coma. Keeping your sodium levels balanced is key.

Muscle Cramps

These are caused mostly due to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. The balance between sodium and potassium ions helps in preventing muscle pains, spasms, and cramps. Along with properly hydrating the body, it is also important to restore the amount of electrolytes.

Anti-aging

Sodium defends against the free radicals that accelerate the aging process. Salt water helps to relieve dry and itchy skin and balances oily skin.3 It facilitates quick healing by opening up the pores, improving circulation and hydrating the tissues.

Carbon Dioxide Transport

Sodium plays an important role in the removal of any excess carbon dioxide that has accumulated in the body. Excess CO2 has been linked to central nervous system damage and permanent deterioration of respiratory functions.4

 

 

Sources:

1. Pharmacists’ Letter eds. Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database online edition.

2. Organic Facts. "Health Benefits of Sodium." Accessed September 8, 2016. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/minerals/sodium.html.

3.  Teja, Ravi. "34 Amazing Benefits Of Salt For Skin, Hair, And Health." Last modified August 4, 2016. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-salt-for-skin-hair-and-he....

4. Callahan, Rob. "The Effects of Too Much Carbon Dioxide in the Blood." Last modified August 16, 2013. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.livestrong.com/article/218049-the-effects-of-too-much-carbon-....