Although it is an element responsible for fulfilling a series of functions in our body, excess sodium can pose some health risks. After all, what is the importance of it? How to prevent yourself from the principal evils?
It was thinking about the great relevance of the theme we developed in this article. Throughout the text, you will understand why the presence of sodium in the human body must be closely monitored. In the end, we also give you some tips to eat healthier.
Enjoy the content!
Sodium In The Body
In a nutshell, sodium is nothing more than a mineral that is not naturally produced by the human body. Its primary function is to regulate blood pressure and promote balance between body fluids. As if that weren’t enough, it helps in the process that leads to muscle contractions, present even in the simplest movements of our daily lives.
Consequently, performance in physical activities, such as weight training, is also linked to the amount of sodium. Taking this information into account, it would not be an exaggeration to say that sodium is essential for the proper functioning of the body. Therefore, it should be noted that the component itself does not pose any risk to the body. However, its excess during meals should be avoided at all costs.
According to a nutritionist, sodium is “associated with vital functions in the human organism, such as the regulation of plasma volume, the conduction of impulses nerves and muscle contraction.
It is worth remembering that the primary source of sodium is table salt, used as a seasoning in almost all dishes prepared in Brazilian cuisine. The increase in the average consumption of this substance is due to the growth in the commercialization of industrialized and processed foods, which contain vast amounts of sodium.
In other words, the keyword to avoid excess sodium in the body is “balance,” bearing in mind, except in exceptional cases, that it cannot be removed entirely from a diet. In the next topic, we will discuss in more detail the dangers that large amounts of this mineral can cause.
What Are The Health Risks Caused By Excess Sodium?
Excess sodium raises blood pressure and leads to hypertension. This happens due to the element’s osmotic property, attracting water molecules to itself and generating fluid retention.
In addition, the mineral present in salt carries calcium molecules to the inner wall of blood vessels, causing them to contract more intensively and gradually lose flexibility. Due to this contraction and the increase in blood flow, the pressure inside the vessels increases.
For those who want to lose weight, excessive consumption also appears as an enemy to be fought; after all, it causes the body to retain more liquid than usual. In practice, this implies extra weight, not to mention that it is addictive. The more sodium you consume, the more you want, giving rise to unhealthy eating habits.
Also, in this sense, the loss of calcium through urine tends to favor the development of osteoporosis because bones are fragile and have a four times greater chance of breaking compared to a healthy person. Here is a list of foods that contain excess sodium:
- ready seasonings ;
- instant noodles;
- frozen foods such as pizza and lasagna;
- processed meats such as bologna and bacon;
- fast food;
- butter and margarine;
Scratching these menu options is an excellent option to reduce the exaggerated presence of this mineral in your body. In the next part of the text, we’ll show you other practices that can help you live healthier. Look!
How To Have A Diet With Less Sodium?
Given the risks that excess sodium provides, it is worth taking some precautions to reduce the consumption of this substance in your routine.
The most basic and influential of these is taking the salt shaker off the table. Another option is to gradually replace the table salt with aromatic and natural herbs, such as oregano, basil, coriander, chives, parsley, and rosemary. For this, when preparing your foods, try to taste them before seasoning them. Often, over-salting food makes it difficult for our taste buds to feel the original taste of food, leading to the vicious cycle of sodium consumption.
Choose alternatives such as olive oil, lemon, and vinegar when cooking. Be careful with ready-made or industrialized seasonings: as tasty as they may be, they usually have a high sodium content. Currently, the market offers excellent sodium-free options for seasoning your food — they give you the flavor you need without causing any harm to your health.
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