Sodium is one of the essential macro elements of the body. According to American health experts intake of at least 2,300 milligrams of sodium is necessary per day for adults. Sodium is available for consumption in table salt which is sodium chloride. Moreover, sodium is consumed in various packaged foods where sodium is present in an adequate amount in the form of salt. Get an insight into sodium, an important mineral element constituting the daily diet.
Importance of Sodium
In chemistry, sodium is referred to as a soft, silvery-white compound. It is highly reactive and is a member of the alkali metals. The isotope of sodium is 23Na. Sodium is available in nature not as a free element but as a compound. Sodium reacts with water exothermically. The sodium ion is consumed by water completely. Sodium ions help in the regulation of body fluid. It aids in the transmission of nerve impulses. It also regulated various other metabolic functions. Sodium is required in adequate amounts the animals, in order to maintain high concentrations of blood levels and extracellular fluids. Herbivores sometimes suffer from a lack of sodium in their body. They obtain sodium from salt licks and other minerals. Sodium is available in everyday salt as sodium chloride. This salt is used for cooking, preparation of salads and food preservation. Salt is required for perfect balance and metabolism of the body. Human beings require less than fifty milligrams of salt in their daily diets. It is not advisable to consume more sodium than what the body actually requires. Excessive consumption of salt may increase the blood pressure level creating a harmful effect on health.
Sodium is available in the form of sodium chloride in various foods and ingredients. The sodium used in sodium chloride is used in chemically processed foods, tinned foods and daily cooking elements. Sodium is available in foods like fish, meat, milk, poultry and eggs.
Effects of Sodium
People should not consume more sodium exceeding the prescribed amount determined by nutrition experts, dietitians and physicians. Sodium chloride is available in 40% by weight in the table slat. One teaspoon of table salt contains two thousand three hundred milligrams of sodium. While buying packet foods and junk foods check out the amount of salt in the food. Reduce the amount of sodium as far as possible. Excessive intake of salt may lead to fluid retention and result in swelling. Always select fresh, frozen, or canned foods without added salts. Try to consume unsalted nuts and peas, dried beans and lentils. Avoid consuming salty snacks like potato chips and pretzels.
Do not add too much salt to your homemade dishes. Try to have fat-free and less slated soups or broths. Have low-fat milk for breakfast. Low-fat cheeses and low-fat yogurt also have less salt in them. Add other ingredients like spices, sauces and herbs to make your palate delicious and tasty but cut short the amount of salt as much as possible.
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