Salt is a crystalline substance. Salt is the mixture of Sodium and Chloride in the ratio of 4:6 which is the most common source our body receives Sodium. A very important thing I wanted to bring it to your notice is our body cannot manufacture by own either of it. So it has to be sourced from outside the body.
Do you know why Gandhi led a civil disobedience campaign of salt? One reason is protesting against British policy of Salt taxation and another reason that salt is one of the few useful and abundant mineral on earth which is the scientific backbone of a human body. Without salt, you can imagine how tasteless and brutal life would be.
A number of body functions where salt contributes an important role like:
- Contracting muscles
- To maintain fluid in the body
- Natural anti-histamine in case of allergic and asthmatic attack
- Contribute to the fast metabolism
- Adequate salt supports balanced hormones
For our body salt(i.e. Sodium) is very necessary to contract muscles and functions properly for body movements.
American College of Cardiology conducted a study and revealed excess dietary sodium may not only affect blood pressure but can adversely affect and target different organs, including blood vessels, heart, kidney, and brain.
Diet-conscious already in the battle cry for ‘everything in moderation’ but when it comes to salt which gives the basic taste of food, they just can’t help themselves.
As per dietary guidelines, people aged between 14 and 50 shouldn’t limit their sodium intake less than 2300mg. Excessive consumption of salt is not good for overall health and also the body starts to retain the maximum amount of water.
All the below conditions start approaching when consumption of salt is more than is good for us.
Salt is the major contributing factor to most disastrous disease like heart attack and stroke.
Some serious symptoms of consuming salt too much
- Frequent urination
- Make you feel thirsty most of the time
- Swelling of different parts of the body especially legs and ankles
- Often leave you with a bland taste and urges you to add more salt
- Frequent mild headaches
World Health Organisation(WHO) recommends total 5g salts per day for the adults to maintain good body balance.
I have brought you this article to share consuming too much salt could be harmful to overall health. Eating too much salt side effects let’s see below.
1. Risk of Heart Disease Increases and Stroke
Salt in the body utilized to performs numerous body function and one of them it is pumping of blood in the heart.
The American Heart Association(AHA) explains too much salt increases pressure in the blood vessels by retaining more water in it. Thereby high blood pressure buildup plaque formation around the arteries may lead to a greater risk of developing stroke and heart diseases.
Endothelium lines almost all blood vessels and endothelium has single layer cell outering as it helps in exchange of nutrients between the bloodstream and surrounding tissues.
2. Spike in Kidney Problems
Increased fluid retention is the one-stop reason to run through kidney problems. Kidney uses osmosis to draw extra water out of your blood. Too much salt causes less water removal and more water retention and thus increases blood pressure. Salt puts more strain on kidneys and leads to diseases like hydronephrosis, renal impairment or chronic kidney diseases.
3. Salt And Blood Pressure Relationship
Numerous studies have shown a direct relationship between salt intake and blood pressure. Too much salt and water have direct proportionality with blood pressure in the body. Higher salt and water in the body higher will be the blood pressure.
Therefore doctors always recommend hypertensive patients to reduce salt intake, so their blood pressure remains under control.
Bone is the storage of calcium. Whereas Sodium increases calcium excretion and decreases the bone density. Less dense bone is a sign of weak bone and later it turns to osteoporosis as age increases.
5. Makes you Overweight
Is Sodium bad for weight loss? So those who want to lose weight and thinking salt doesn’t contain any calories then this one may come to you by surprise! Yes eating too much salt is bad for weight loss. Excess sodium allows an increase in body fluid due to water retention, scientists have reported too much salt increases weight.
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6. Impairs the functioning of blood vessels
Higher sodium in the blood means pulling more water into the bloodstream which causes the blood vessels to increase the normal size of blood vessels. This makes blood vessels susceptible to impairs the functioning of blood vessels.
Eating too much salt may cause your body to retain more fluid and leading to bloating. Bloating is sometimes accompanied by burping, flatulence, and a feeling of fullness. Reduce salt intake in order to treat bloating.
8. Extremities swelling
Did you know that 80 percent of salt is hidden in processed and packed foods? Due to water retention property too much salt in the diet unwelcome extremity swellings. For the Asthma patient, salt could have life-threatening effect in children and adults, reported the researchers.
9. Impairs Cognitive functions
Too much salt can have a serious long-term cognitive effect. A study from 2010 revealed more consumption of salt negatively impacts your cognitive functions. Unfortunately, the study was observational, so researchers did not find why that happening.
When too much salt ingested it may damage arteries which reach the brain. However, lowering blood pressure may help to alleviate the risk of greater damage to the brain.
10. Stomach ulcer
Too much salt intake may lead to stomach ulcers. Studies found that too much of Sodium disrupts the mucus lining of the stomach and thus too much salt responsible for stomach ulcers.
Some more facts About Salt
- China is the largest salt producer in the world followed by the United States.
- In Roman times, Soldiers were sometimes paid in salt – which is where “Salary” word comes from.
- Japanese belief is this, when you sprinkle salt around your home it will prevent from evil spirits. This has become a serious tradition in some other countries since then.
- Salt removes red wine stains.
- Every cell in the body contains salt. Sodium is an essential nutrient but is something that the body cannot produce itself.
- Salt is used in many canned food products in which salt act as a good preservative. Although it may not taste too salty but contains most of the sodium in it.
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