Fruits And Vegatables.
Salt Cones, Bolivia
Types Of Salt.
What is sodium?
Sodium is a nutrient that works as an electrolyte in your body. It is found in table salt and some fruits and vegetables. The sodium contents in fresh fruits and veggies are naturally occurring.
Your body needs a certain amount of Sodium for good health. It helps to maintain the correct volume of circulating blood and tissue fluids and to keep muscles and nerves in perfect working order. But, most of us consume more than two times the amount of sodium we need per day.
The kidneys are the main regulators of sodium levels in the body. The food standard Agency recommends that you consume -
- 2,300 mg per day = 6g of salt per day = 1tsp per day.
The National Health Institute (NIH) has prepared an eating plan called "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension".
This is a clinically proven plan to reduces High Blood Pressure, it features lots of foods that are low in salt/sodium and how you can use them to obtain a low sodium, heart healthy lifestyle.
Daily Sodium Intake.
Your sodium source.
Excess Salt Intake And Your Body.
Cutting back on your sodium intake is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Salt makes your body hold on to water, therefore excess salt would make your body hold on to more water. This would increase your blood pressure, which in turn, would put greater strain on your kidneys, heart, arteries and brain. This can lead to kidney disease, heart attack, dementia or stroke.
My focus for this hub is the sodium content of fruits and vegetables, this would help to understand and be able to cut back on the amount of salt you consume.
Some Sources of Sodium.
Salt is one source of Sodium, but we get sodium from vegetables too.
Fruit and vegetables are a healthier source of sodium.
- Celery - a celery stalk contains 35 mg of sodium. A serving size of celery is 4 ozs or 1 cup, this would give you 115 mg of sodium.
- Carrots - you get 42 mg of sodium from a medium size carrot or 10 baby carrots.
- Spinach - one cup of spinach would give you 24 mg of sodium.
- Broccoli - 30 mg of sodium in 1 cup.
Bok Choy Plants
High Sodium And Your Kidneys.
Your body removes unwanted fluids by filtering your blood through your kidney, where any extra fluid is sucked out and put into the bladder as urine. It does this process by using a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to pull the water through a wall of cells from the bloodstream into a collecting channel that leads into the bladder.
Excess salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and therefore upset the delicate balance, reducing your kidney's ability to remove the water.
This results in high blood pressure due to extra fluid in the blood stream and extra strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys.
The extra strain damages the kidneys, this is known as kidney disease. When the kidneys are damaged, their ability to filter out unwanted and toxic waste products is reduced. This in turn would cause a build up of waste in the body.
Arteries In The Brain.
The Brain And High Level Of Sodium.
A high level of sodium is caused by eating too much salt. When you have been eating too much for a long time, it would cause damage to your arteries.
A reduction of oxygen and nutrients, due to reduction in blood to the brain, would lead to reduced cell function. This causes dementia.
If your salt consumption continues to be high. Your arteries would eventually become so severely damaged that they would become completely clogged and would burst, which would, in turn, cut the blood flow to your brain. When this happens, the part of your brain that was receiving blood would die.
When that part of your brain no longer receives the oxygen and nutrient that it needs and die, you would lose the functions of those parts of your brain controls. This is called a stroke.
To prevent a stroke from happening, you need to prevent your arteries from becoming damaged. One of the way to do this, is to reduce you blood pressure by eating less salt, there by reducing your sodium level in the body.
A reduction in your sodium intake is achieved by training your taste buds to become accustomed the correct amount of salt your body needs and by understanding which source of sodium you can decrease.
High Sodium And The Heart.
A high level of Sodium in the blood causes high blood pressure, which damages the arteries, can you guess where I'm going with this? Yes, the Heart.
With all that damage around it, do you think the heart will stay healthy and happy? No, it won't.
With raised blood pressure and damaged arteries restricting blood flow to the heart, sharp chest pains, when you are active, begins. This is called Angina.
If you keep on consuming excess salt, your sodium intake would stay elevated.
Your heart, whose job it is to pump blood throughout the body, needs oxygen and nutrients too and when the cells in the heart doesn't get enough because of high blood pressure. The damage to heart becomes so severe that it ruptures or become completely clogged, that part of the heart dies. This is called a heart attack.
One way you can stop all that from happening is by eating less salt, thereby, reducing the level of sodium in your arteries.
As usual I do my research on issues that affects us in our daily lives and these topics applies to my experiences too.
So here are some websites that I have used to compile this hub -
skperdon (author) from Canada on August 30, 2015:
I wrote this hub because of my experience when I stopped using salt. My doctor advise me to reduce my salt intake after a rise in my blood pressure. Being the nut that I was back then, I decided to cut salt from my food completely. Day four of my salt free diet I slowly went down, I was at work (I was working outdoors back then), the dizziness came on slowly. I couldn't keep my head up so I sat down and place it on the table next to me, I couldn't move.
My boss saw me sitting and not able to respond, she gave me a salt tablet that brought me out of that spell. I've never stayed away from salt after that, but I did my research.
This helped me with the information I needed to be able to consume just enough salt to maintain the balance of electrolytes that my body needs.
Choose your salt source wisely!
Thank you for your comments Watcher and Chuck.
Chuck Bluestein from Morristown, AZ, USA on August 29, 2015:
Watcher is totally correct. I have figured out that if a person ate no table salt, he would live an extra 30 years. Salt is not a food. Have you heard of arsenic? It is only 4 times more toxic than salt. Extra information on this comes from Michael Greger M.D. He has info on a tribe that never ate salt
The CDC says that rates of high blood pressure go up as age increases since hardening of the arteries is inevitable. It is as long as you eat salt. This tribe always maintains their blood pressure as babies. There is 0% hypertension (same as HBP) there. He says that salt kills 400,000 per year in America. What does webMD says? They say that eating salt is worse than smoking. So if you start smoking and quit salt, you will live longer according to them.
Watcher on August 02, 2015:
The body needs sodium.... it does not need chloride. Salt is Sodium Chloride. Ideally, we would consume NO salt.