Minerals and why we need them
Sodium (salt) RDA 2400mg.
Although scientists agree that a minimal amount of salt is required for survival, the health implications of excess salt intake represent an area of considerable controversy among scientists, clinicians and public health experts.
Salt is a vital substance for the survival of all living creatures, particularly humans. Water and salt regulate the water content of the body. It cleans and extracts the toxic wastes of cell metabolism. There are two pools of water in the body, one pool is held inside the cells and the other pool is held outside the cells. Good health depends on the balance between the volume of these pools, and this balance is helped by salt, and indeed a low salt diet unless prescribed by a physycian can have a damaging effect on health.
Salt is most effective in stabilising irregular heartbeats and, contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, in conjunction with water, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure. Naturally the proportions are critical.
Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells, and is a strong natural antihistamine.
As you grow older, it becomes vital to pay attention to your water consumption. Mature persons hold less cellular water, with a loss of 10 to 15 percent of previous capacity by the age of 65. A contributing factor is the loss of thirst sensitivity. Because water is so important for digestion, a lack of fluid in your body might make it more difficult for you to digest food. You may suffer from cramps, bloating, gas, constipation, diveritculosis or even a contributory factor to colon cancer. Drinking more water, combined with a high-fibre diet, can help prevent these problems.
As we age, the ability of the body to regulate sodium and potassium, and keep them in balance, becomes more inefficient.
It is particularly important at this stage to avoid taxing this regulatory system by consuming too much or too little salt in your diet, as the balance can be easily disrupted. This can lead to many problematic health issues, such as acidosis.
Sodium's role within the nervous system
The nervous system's efficiency is highly dependent on the correct working of the sodium potassium pump so it is vital that a balanced level of these two minerals is present to maintain functionality.Symptoms associated with sodium deficiency
Low blood fluid volume - thick blood - collapsed veins - low/high blood pressure - rapid pulse - apathy - poor appetite - dehydration - dizziness - muscle cramps - headaches - nausea - acidosis - muscle twitches - muscular weakness - lack of thirst - excess brain water retention.Symptoms associated with excess sodium
High blood pressure - water retention - nephritis - eye bags - low calcium levels - low magnesium levels - potassium disturbances.Best food sources
Kelp - seaweeds - meats - bacon - smoked fish.