The Reasons Why We Need Salt In Our Diets
Salt is absolutely essential for our bodies. Without salt in our bodies, we would not survive! Over the years there has been a lot of controversy on whether salt in our diets is a good or bad thing.
Salt really is a remarkably versatile substance and you will be surprised at how many uses a bottle of regular old table salt can have.
Salt also known as Sodium Chloride has been used for thousands of years. It was predominately used as a food preserver and enabled man to travel food over vast distances without it spoiling. Back in those days salt was not as easy to source and hence extremely valuable as a trade item.
Why We Need Salt To Survive
While there has been a lot of concern regarding salt intake and artery health. The flip side of too much salt, is not enough salt. If we don’t have enough salt in our bodies, just like if we have too much salt, we can get very ill.
The human body can’t make its own salt, but salt is needed by our bodies to maintain the fluid in our red blood cells. In other words salt balances the fluid in our bodies.
Salt is also used by our bodies to transmit information to our muscles and nerves and salt is utilized by our bodies in the process of the up-taking of nutrients from our small intestines.
Read more about why we need salt in this article by Livestrong.com.
Symptoms of too much Sodium.
It is important to understand that if our bodies are too high in sodium, this causes a condition called Hypernatremia and then yes, we will get symptoms. Some symptoms are very serious and some are just unpleasant; e.g. fatigue, irritability, confusion, general weakness, nausea, fluid retention, muscle cramps and more.
High body sodium can cause Hypertension, (high blood pressure) and Edema, (swelling in the body tissue, such as ankles and feet).
Serious symptoms of high body sodium levels, are changes in the heart rate and blood pressure, seizures, comas and in extreme cases if can even be fatal.
See more here.
Symptoms of low Sodium levels.
It is just as important to understand that when the body doesn’t have enough sodium , this causes the opposite condition called Hyponatremia and it will cause symptoms such as Hypotension, (low blood pressure). This can cause an increased heart rate, light-headiness, lethargy and confusion.
This low blood pressure causes our kidneys to try and retain sodium and water and if not corrected, can cause kidney problems and also adrenal fatigue.
In extreme cases, if the conditions get worse, it can lead to seizures, comas and even death.
See more here
Iodine In Salt Why We Need It
Another reason not to exclude all salt from our diets is because our body needs Iodine. Iodine is a trace element our body need to maintain a healthy thyroid function.
Table salt traditionally is iodized and because of the worry of having too much salt in our diets, many people have gone to the other extreme and virtually eliminated all salt from their diet.
This exclusion of salt from our diets in recent years, has led to a worrying influx of iodine deficient people and especially, iodine deficient pregnant women. Iodine deficiency in pregnant women can be very dangerous to the unborn fetus.
Read this article about Iodine Deficiency by the N.Z Ministry of Health.
The bottom line is, we all do need some salt in our diets and this includes iodized salt. Like with anything, we need to be sensible and not extreme.
Salt has many uses and not just in the kitchen!
Salt can be used to create an invigorating natural body scrub, or a natural sea salt, beach hair, styling product. It can treat and disinfect, minor body ailments.
Salt is a great multi-faceted cleaner for various uses throughout out homes.
Salt, simply is a much safer, natural and extremely cost effective product that no healthy home should be without!
See my article Healthy Uses For Salt & Cleaning With Salt
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