Health Benefits And Effects Of Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride is commonly known as salt. It is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth and an essential nutrient for many animals and plants, including people. Sodium is an electrolyte that regulates the amount of water in our body. Sodium also plays a part in nerve impulses and muscle contractions. Sodium chloride is used to treat or prevent sodium loss caused by dehydration, excessive sweating, or other causes. Sodium chloride may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Sources of salt –

Salt is found naturally at low levels in all foods, but some salt is added to many processed foods, such as:

  • ready meals
  • meat products – such as bacon
  • some breakfast cereals
  • cheese
  • some tinned vegetables
  • some bread
  • savoury snacks

One tablespoon of table salt consists of 2300 milligrams of sodium, the suggested maximum intake of sodium per day for a healthy adult. However, it is important for people with high blood pressure to limit their intake of sodium to 1500 milligrams every day. Healthy kids require 1000 to 1500 milligrams of sodium.

Health benefits –

Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Sodium:

  • Regulates fluid: Including sodium in one’s diet helps in regulating fluids outside the body cells. Sodium is needed for pumping fluids into the body cells. Sodium helps in facilitating fluid movement by way of the permeable membranes to areas that are high in their salt content. Thus, it can rightly be said that sodium in combination with chlorine helps in the prevention of loss of water from the human body.
  • Balances ions: Sodium along with bicarbonate helps in maintaining the right balance between negatively charged ions and positively charged ions. Therefore, sodium has an important role to play in maintaining the charge differential throughout the cell membranes. Thus, it enables the cells of the nerve to send messages while allowing the muscle cells to properly contract.
  • Prevents loss of water: Sunstroke is a problem that is caused due to the loss of water and salt from the human body. Because of this the human body is not able to maintain normal temperature due to constant exposure to high temperatures. Sunstroke can be prevented by having fluids that contain sugar and salt as they works by replacing the loss of important electrolytes
  • Prevents cramps: Muscle cramps are a result of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. These are common during the summer season when temperatures seem to reach extreme heights. Sodium makes way for hydration and muscle contraction. Fluids and juices that are rich in their sodium content help in restoring electrolyte balance within the human body.
  • Removes excess CO2: Sodium is also of good help in removing excessive carbon dioxide that gets accumulated within the human body by way of excretion. This is probably one of the biggest advantages for the human body that comes from having sodium-rich fluids and drinks
  • Develops the brain: Sodium is one of the most important elements required for the proper development of the human brain and for the improvement of the functioning of the brain. Change in levels of sodium within the body have a direct effect on the brain resulting in confusion, dizziness and lethargy.
  • Sufficient sodium: Despite the fact that sodium is generally associated with high blood pressure yet it is worth noting that sodium in proper amount works great in maintaining the health of the human heart. Having sufficient sodium is necessary for keeping the heart health intact. Sodium possesses the ability of regulating nerve impulses that have a good influence on the heart. Sodium can also help in keeping nerve contractions normal further resulting in proper blood pressure.
  • Improves teeth: It is important to brush the teeth several times during the day for maintaining its proper condition. Teeth is likely to accumulate plaque and develop odour if it is not brushed in the proper manner. Sodium works great at cleansing the teeth and the mouth. The salt content of sodium helps in cleaning the mouth and the teeth. Sea salt or common salt can effectively be used as normal toothpaste for cleaning the teeth.
  • Improves the skin: Free radicals make the skin appear dull. There are many women who make use of anti-aging creams for fighting the signs of aging. Sodium is one of the most important ingredients found in anti-aging creams. This is because sodium helps in moisturizing the skin and in preventing the early signs of aging.
  • Prevents dryness: Sodium is widely used in soaps and shampoos as well. This is due to the fact that sodium possesses the ability of inhibiting the growth of pathogens because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It is also used in different baby care products as it reduces the function of the oily barrier of the skin resulting in dryness.
  • Neutralize toxins: Insect bites can result in itchiness and such conditions can easily be eliminated by making use of sodium. Sodium works by neutralizing skin toxins that helps in relieving itchiness.
  • Relieve heartburn: Sodium is also of good help in neutralizing stomach acid. It is also used in several over-the-counter products for helping relieve heartburn and indigestion.

Side effects –

Get emergency medical help if any people have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of their face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using sodium chloride and call doctor at once if people have a serious side effect such as:

  • nausea and vomiting;
  • stomach pain; or
  • swelling in hands, ankles, or feet.
  • Less serious side effects are more likely, and people may have none at all.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.

A few practical tips for cutting down on salt include:

  • check food labels and choose foods with less salt – where color-coded labels are used, try to pick products with more greens and ambers, and fewer reds, for a healthier choice
  • choose tinned vegetables and pulses with no added salt
  • choose tinned fish in spring water rather than brine
  • only use sauces – like soy sauce, brown sauce, ketchup, and mayonnaise sparingly, as these are often high in salt
  • eat fewer salty snacks, such as crisps, salted nuts and salty foods such as bacon, cheese, pickles, and smoked fish
  • add less or no salt when cooking – use herbs and spices for flavor instead
  • choose low-salt stock cubes, or make our own stock without added salt
  • taste our food first, and don’t automatically add extra salt

Having too much salt is linked to high blood pressure, which raises our risk of serious problems like strokes and heart attacks.

 

Information Sources:

  1. drugs.com
  2. lybrate.com
  3. nhs.uk