Last Updated on January 10, 2021
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Sodium plays an important role in our organism. As an electrolyte, it is responsible for regulating body functions (including heart rate, muscle function, respiration, brain activity, blood pressure, and digestion, for example), maintaining fluid balance, and facilitating nerve impulses.
Since it is so important to our organism, it’s impossible to quit salt completely. According to the American Heart Association, the recommended daily sodium intake to maintain healthy sodium levels should be less than 2300 milligrams – ideally, it should be somewhere around the 1500 milligram mark. Like everything else, having too much sodium or too little can bring us health problems. The problem is that nowadays, people are consuming too much food rich in salt, especially because most convenient snacks and pre-packed foods contain unhealthy amounts of this substance. As a result, it is estimated that Americans eat, on average more than 3400 milligrams of sodium per day, so you can see why this has become such a huge issue.
Here’s what happens to your body when you limit your sodium intake per day to normal amounts!
1. Improved Kidney Function
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs responsible for filtering the blood, removing waste, and adjusting salt, water, and mineral levels whenever needed. Therefore, excessive salt consumption puts enormous stress on the kidneys and may lead to some kinds of malfunctions. Opting for a salt-free diet(which means eating a low amount of sodium per meal) is also a good way to prevent kidney stones or drastically reduce its risk. These tiny and hard deposits of salts and minerals that form inside the kidneys can cause excruciating pain. Among its main risk factors is precisely an unhealthy diet rich in sodium, sugar, and protein. If you want to help your kidneys function better overall, eat less salt!
2. Lower Blood Pressure
Eating too much salt in your diet is considered one of the main risk factors that lead to high blood pressure. It creates an imbalance that your organism needs to regulate, thus putting significant pressure on the circulatory system and, as a consequence, increasing blood pressure. Just because you feel healthy, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about your blood pressure, and you can go on with your diet rich in salt. This starts as a silent condition in most cases, so make sure you check your blood pressure regularly. Limiting your sodium intake and making other simple lifestyle adjustments (like exercising and eating healthy foods) could be enough to cause blood pressure to drop back to healthy levels and prevent a series of dangerous health complications such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and aneurysm, for example.