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Role of Sodium in the Diet: Cannot Be Ignored

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Salt or Sodium is considered as one of the most important minerals that a body requires for its sound growth and development. Sodium or sodium chloride is a chemical compound that is found in every cell, blood and body fluids of the human body. Sodium plays a vital role in maintaining overall growth of the body by providing various benefits to the body. Important role played by sodium in the diet is recognized by everybody and from yesteryears.

Benefits Imparted by Sodium to the Human Body

  • Sodium maintains water balance of the body.
  • Proper intake of sodium in the right quantity aids in enhancing brain activity.
  • Function of smooth transportation of nutrients in the cell membranes of the body is performed by sodium.
  • It ensures in maintaining health functioning of the human heart and regulating muscle contraction.
  • With the help of salt, other minerals and calcium gets easily soluble in the blood.

Aforementioned are some of the benefits provided by sodium, therefore it is not wrong to say that role of sodium in the diet is inevitable.  Hence, it is necessary to intake sodium rich diet, but in apt quantity, for avoiding the life-threatening side-effects.

Risk Associated with Excessive Sodium Intake

A common adage “excess of everything is bad” stands strong here also. Excess intake of sodium enriched diet results in causing a number of health problems. As per the report of the Food and Nutrition Board “the tolerable UL (Upper Intake Level) for salt containing foods, should be 5.8 grams per day.” And this UL is applicable to Americans and Canadians also as reported and confirmed by the Institute of Medicine. Considering the fact; it is necessary to restrict with the rule, or else a person can face problems like:

  • Excess intake of the sodium hampers the normal blood flow and results in causing high blood pressure. Other problems that a person can face due to high blood pressure or hypertension are headache, dizziness, stress, etc.
  • Kidney stones, kidney failures, salty urine, acidity, etc are possible side-effects of higher intake of sodium quantity.
  • Fluid retention is another noted side-effect.

Therefore, it can be said that role of sodium in the diet is vital. A person must show watchful attitude while consuming sodium amount in a day.

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Dealing with the side-effects

The best way of dealing with the risk or side-effects of excessive intake of sodium is consume sodium in the appropriate quantity. Moreover, keep a check on the daily consumption limit of the salt in your diet.

Required Amount of Sodium in the Body

It is necessary to disclose that different amount is set as minimum and maximum limit of salt consumption for men and women. So, it is advised to consult your health professionals in order to intake apt quantity of the sodium. In general, it is recommended that a person should take minimum 500mg of salt per day. But, the maximum limit should not exceed with 2500mg per day.

Food rich in Sodium

Foods that are rich in sodium and a person must include in the daily diet are cheese, fish, pulses, meat, milk, olives, legumes, leafy vegetables, canned food, and many more. Finally, it can be concluded that role of sodium in the diet is significant. Therefore, it can be taken in the apt quantity to enrich its desired benefits.

Summary- Sodium plays a pertinent role in maintaining overall growth of the human body. Therefore, it is important to include foods rich in sodium in the diet. Excessive consumption of the salt leads to certain side-effects like hypertension, kidney stones, etc.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: April 12, 2015

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