Categories: Minerals

4 Benefits of sodium in the body

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Discover the 4 shocking benefits of sodium in the body

Description and Definition: What is sodium?

Sodium is one of the macroelements and is therefore widely present in our bodies.

Unless you are the beautiful exception that proves the rule, you will not run the risk of lacking it since our contemporary societies tend to consume it in excess.

4 shocking benefits of sodium in the body
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The Sodium / Potassium ratio to watch out for!

Very related to potassium, you will undoubtedly hear about the sodium/potassium ratio one day if you haven’t already.

You know that salt is not an ally of your health but it is undoubtedly the excess of salt added to the lack of potassium that would be the most deleterious.

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Indeed, in our modern society, and in particular with the appearance of industrial preparations, our food has experienced an increase in sodium intake and at the same time a decrease in our potassium intake.

This imbalance has many negative consequences for our health such as increased blood pressure, increased cardiovascular risks, less protection of kidney functions, and many other effects on the body.

Some countries like Finland consume salts depleted in sodium and enriched in potassium to restore this balance.

Naturally, eating more vegetables and ingesting less table salt will help you strike the perfect balance.

Benefits of Sodium in our body

1. Water balance

The sodium concentration in the body regulates the movement of water between the different intracellular and extracellular compartments.

Through homeostasis and absorption, sodium in the right quantity is responsible for the body’s water balance.

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2. Nerve impulses

The presence of sodium in the body makes it possible to transmit nerve impulses to neurons in the brain via polarization phenomena.

3. Muscle contraction

Sufficient sodium also helps the muscle contraction mechanism.

4. Arterial pressure

Sodium is also involved in the regulation of blood pressure. Thus, a high sodium intake significantly increases blood pressure and vice versa.

This is why, in cases of arterial hypertension, a more or less salt-free diet is often recommended.

What are the daily sodium (Na) requirements?

Sodium (salt) requirements per day

Sodium is a mineral essential for the functioning of the human body just like potassium, calcium, or magnesium.

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It is a mineral very present in the body which is provided by the diet in the form of sodium chloride (salt).

As already mentioned on the previous page, excess sodium causes significant health problems such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular risks.

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Also, it is therefore essential to monitor your sodium consumption by limiting in particularly processed products rich in salt!

The latest recommendations to meet daily sodium (salt) requirements

Salt is the main source of sodium in our diet. On food packaging, salt may be referred to as “sodium” or “sodium chloride”.

It should therefore be noted that 1 g of sodium (1000 mg) is equivalent to 2.5 g of salt.

For adults, the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends consuming less than 5g of salt per day (i.e. 2g of sodium).

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For children from 2 to 15 years old, it is preferable to decrease this recommendation according to energy needs.

According to the WHO, most people consume too much salt, an average of 9 to 12 g per day, or about twice the maximum recommended intake.

To reduce salt consumption, it is advisable to limit products rich in sodium (ready meals, hard cheeses, appetizer cakes, etc.), to reduce the amount of salt added to the cooking water, and to avoid adding more salt. salt during meals.

What are the risks of sodium (salt) deficiency?

Sodium deficiency is very rare. However, it can occur in athletes during intense physical exertion or in the elderly.

Here are the symptoms of a lack of sodium (salt):

Dehydration

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Loss of appetite

Muscle cramp

Drop-in blood pressure

Abnormal fatigue

Insomnia

What are the consequences of excess sodium (salt)?

In our modern societies, excessive sodium consumption is common. Indeed, the eating habits modified by the evolution of lifestyles, lead us to consume salt in large quantities.

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We are eating more and more processed foods that are very high in salt. Remember that increased salt consumption is dangerous for health.

It can cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart or kidney disease, lung edema …

So to remedy this situation, the Member States of the WHO has decided to reduce the salt consumption of the world population by 30% by 2025 through awareness programs aimed at improving consumers’ eating habits.

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