Salt is a very popular condiment. It is almost impossible for anyone to go a day without sprinkling salt in his food. This underscores the important of salt to our lives and we will examine it in detail below.
Health benefit of salt
Most times, doctors advise we cut down on salt consumption in order to lower sodium intake because most of us get too much without trying. While it is good to keep an eye on salt, it wouldn’t be advisable to completely ignore it, as salt plays an important role in how our body functions.
It helps the thyroid function properly
The thyroid plays an important role in metabolism, but for it to function well, the body needs iodine. Iodine is found in many foods including salt. Symptoms of iodine deficiency include constipation, difficulty in thinking and enlarged thyroid.
Keeps the body hydrated
Our body need adequate amount of salt and water to perform very well. Salt helps to maintain a good balance of water and electrolyte and prevent us from dehydration.
Prevent low blood pressure
Sodium, which is a component of salt helps to prevent low blood pressure.
Improves cystic fibroid symptoms
People suffering from cystic fibrosis tend to lose more water than the average person. They need salt in their diet to help them prevent dehydration.
How much salt is okay?
The daily recommended limit for sodium is 2,300mg for adult and children, however, Americans consume about 3,400mg of sodium daily which is clearly above the recommended limit. For those who have diabetes and African Americans, their daily sodium intake is further reduced to about 1,500mg.
Health risks of eating too much salt
Increases water retention
If you eat too much salt, it means more sodium into your body, consequently, there will be sodium build up. Your body would require more water to dilute it because your kidney may not be able to filter excess sodium from your bloodstream. This will lead to water retention.
Damages cardiovascular health
Too much salt in your body may lead to heart diseases and stroke because the retained excess water in your body would put pressure on your heart and blood vessel.
Higher risk of osteoporosis
Consuming too much salt will cause your body to lose calcium through urination. Unfortunately, if your body is lacking calcium, your body will take it from your bones and this consequently over time, lead to osteoporosis.