How Healthy Is Salt?
Salt is an essential part of our cooking, food preparation, and food preservation. It adds a kind of taste unrivaled by other ingredients, and so it is indispensable. We use salt in our food; if not for health benefits, but for the joy of our taste buds. Salt adds to the value of our meals, making them palatable and savory. We need it, not just because we want to always have the taste, but because it`s also required for optimal health. There`s a balance that salt brings to some chemical components and reactions in our bodies. However, you need to consume just about enough salt your body needs, or you will be eating excess salt. Excess salt intake poses severe health risks. Osteoporosis and heart disease such as hypertension are easily licensed to practice in a body with excessive salt intake.
All you Need to Know About Salt
Salt`s 40% amount of sodium and 60% amount of chloride helps you get the best out of the taste of a meal. The various classifications of salt include sea salt, refined salt or table salt, processed salt, kosher salt, and flower salt. The different types of salt have variations in their nutritional value.
Your body is in constant need of only a small amount of 500mg of sodium per day to be able to perform certain functions effectively. Such functions include the maintenance of the equilibrium of water and some minerals, the contraction and relaxation of your body’s muscles, and the handling of the nerve impulses in your body.
Your body will also be in need of potassium for it to work with its sodium content, so it can achieve these bodily functions properly. While you can easily find potassium in fruits and vegetables, sodium is present in processed foods.
If you eat more fast food and processed meals than fresh vegetables and fruits, these nutrients will fall out of the equation in your diet. You have to consume a balanced diet at all times. If your body absorbs more sodium than potassium, you may be at risk of heart diseases such as hypertension.
5 Health Benefits of Salt
Relief from Muscle Cramps
Salt has the ability to contribute to the protective process of your muscles. It can help you in your recovery from muscle cramps. We all experience leg cramps, and it occurs more often in athletes and adults who are constantly working. It may seem obvious, but there are no defined causes for muscle cramps like the leg cramp. There a couple of risk factors though. Some of the risk factors for muscle cramps include pregnancy, imbalanced electrolytes, change in body weight and loss of bodily salt.
Dehydration could be a result of a disease such as cholera or diarrhea. When there is not enough fluid or fluid regulation in the body, the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys can be seriously affected. It also makes your body lose essential minerals and nutrients quickly. Salts that are capable of dissolving in water alongside glucose can revive your body if you`re dealing with this situation. You can treat pathogenic diseases such as cholera or diarrhea with an oral rehydration solution of salt.
Manages Cystic Fibrosis
What is cystic fibrosis? This is a type of genetic disorder that makes your body lose a lot of salt through dehydration, mucous secretion, and sweating. This disease may also be as a result of the presence of too many mucus plugs in the gastrointestinal tract. It permits the massive disposal of chloride ions and sodium ions in sodium chloride. Sometimes, the skin of the people who have cystic fibrosis has a salty taste. This condition may also lead to a deficiency in vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D and other nutrients that are fat-soluble because the excessive presence of mucus in the gastrointestinal tract impedes the absorption of fat. Patients of cystic fibrosis are advised to eat more salt to compensate for the sodium ions and chloride lost.
Relief for Sinusitis and Sore Throat
Warm salty water is well known and widely used for its treatment of sore throat. You can make a solution of warm water mixed with salt and gargle for a few days to get rid of sore throat. It also grants relief for the itch and discomfort caused by infections in the upper part of the respiratory tract.
Sinusitis is a condition that affects the nasal region; it is an inflammation of the air-filled openings (also known as sinuses) within the nose. You can manage nasal sinusitis can by rinsing your nostrils using salty warm water. Salty water is also said to remove impediments and clear clogs that make breathing difficult.
Salt may improve your dental health by supporting some elements which make up the protective layer of your teeth. The harder layer of enamel which safeguards our teeth from possible infections and erosion is made up of a form of salt known as hydroxyapatite. The dissolution of this salt can leads to tooth decay and other teeth diseases. Salt in your food and a salt-based mouth wash could give your teeth some protection.
Complications of Salt Intake
Consuming too much or too little salt is detrimental to your health. So, what might happen if you eat less salt? If your intake of salt is lower than what your body requires, you will eventually run low on sodium supply and this will be followed by unpleasant symptoms such as:
- neurological deficiencies
- insufficient stamina
There are more severe complications that can arise from salt deficiency. Hyponatremia leads to edema in older people, while seizures, coma, and brain damage are risked. Too little salt in the body negatively affects the balance of minerals and other nutrients which sodium complements.
What are the consequences of eating more salt than is required? Hypernatremia or excess sodium in the blood comes with severe organ diseases. Doctors say that eating way too much salt is the same as poisoning oneself; the kidneys, brain, and heart suffer terribly. If the ratio of salt to water and other nutrients is too high, you may begin to experience some of these signs:
- nausea and Vomiting
- weak muscles
- unhealthy mental condition as a result of neurological damage
Excess salt in the body affects the way the kidneys function and is usually a contributing factor to kidney disease. Osteoporosis and heart conditions affect the bones when there`s too much salt in the body.
If you`re considering controlling your salt consumption, you need to know the types of food that have enough salt and sodium content. Knowing what has too much salt will also save you the trouble of eating way too much salt unknowingly. The following foods have enough quantity of salt:
- cured meat
Try avoiding excess consumption of these foods, and find moderate substitutes for them if you`re trying to control the salt in your body. Nuts and fresh vegetables have a healthy proportion of salt, so they’re your go-to foods if you`re looking to eat healthy as regards salt.
Now that you Know…
Be sure to consume salty foods in moderate proportions for a healthier you. We cannot overemphasize the importance of a healthy body.