How much salt does the body need?

This white powder was presented as a sign of friendship in Ancient Rome. It was used for exchange purposes instead of money in the Middle Ages. It was the cause of wars and riots and it was used for protection from evil spirits. Plenty of people were moving from country to country to find this white powder.

We are talking about sodium chloride. Salt: It’s forty percent of sodium, sixty percent of chlorine and one hundred percent of amazing taste. The excessive consumption of salt, as well as the excessive consumption of sugar is not healthy for your body. However, sodium is one of the most important electrolyte for humans, which is responsible for regulating the body’s water balance, maintaining normal heart rhythm, nerve impulse conduction and muscle contraction.

The constantly-discussed question: How much salt does your body actually needs to be healthy? On one side, you cannot live normally without salt. However, as mentioned above, salt contains sodium — the most essential extracellular electrolyte for your body.

Electrolytes are small substances, which exist in nature in the form of minerals. They are very important for hydration of the body and maintaining muscles and nerves. Since the human body sixty percent consists of water, it is important to get enough of these minerals regularly. When your body is hydrated, it functions properly. There are six essential electrolytes human body needs: sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium and phosphates.

And yet, as important as sodium is, most people have a harmful habit to eat too much of salt. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average adult should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium every day.

It turns out that the average person consumes 3,400 mg of sodium a day. You should know that the excessive consumption of salt may lead to high blood pressure and heart diseases.

So, how much salt does your body really need to survive?

Health experts claim that the minimum dosage of sodium in a country like the USA is about 1500 mg a day. If you are an adult, who is suffering from high blood pressure, you may eat this amount of sodium each day. This dosage is also safe for kids under three years old. However, some dietitians claim that full-grown adults can survive with fewer amounts. They believe that 500 mg of sodium a day is well enough. (This is just one quarter of one tsp. of salt).

Frankly, it is almost impossible to consume this small amount of sodium in America due to variety of processed products. It was estimated that approximately 3,400 mg of sodium the average person in the United States eats every day, about seventy-one percent comes from additional salt in processed and prepared foods. If a person don’t consume enough sodium, it may lead to the risk of developing hyponatremia, which occurs when sodium becomes too dissolved in the body, resulting in cells to swell up with water.

The symptoms of this condition are headaches, confusion, nausea, vomiting, muscle soreness, cramps, loss of energy and even loss of consciousness. This disease is very dangerous and it can even result in death! Senior citizens with kidney diseases, or anyone who takes medication that decreases sodium levels can encounter the increased risk of hyponatremia. That is why athletes usually drink plenty of water in order to maintain the sodium levels they sweat out while working out.

Luckily, if you are not an athlete, but an ordinary person, you don’t need to worry about getting enough salt. Whatever salt you add to your diet is probably more than enough to keep your body in order. As you see, 500 mg of sodium a day is enough for you to survive, while 1500 mg of sodium a day is enough for adults to maintain a good health. If you will consume more salt regularly, you will experience negative health consequences. Remember that moderate intake of salt is not the only factor for maintaining a good health.

Do you want to have a good health to lead a healthy, happy life? Don’t forget about healthy eating and balance your diet with nutritious products such as, fresh veggies, herbs, fruits, berries, nuts, fish, eggs, whole grains, meat and seeds. Avoid eating processed foods and junk food, as they are loaded with fats, salt and sugar. Fill your body with good organic products. Get enough water. Be physically active. Please, remember that no one else is responsible for your health and your body, except for you.

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