Understanding Sodium Can Improve Health

By Tom Herrin

It is important that people have as much knowledge of general nutrition as possible if they are to make healthy choices.  There is so much advertising today that it is easy to be influenced about what is really best to eat.  When people give thought to what can provide better health, they can choose foods based on their actual nutritional value.  This means that people can buy foods on the basis of what they are trying to accomplish with their diets.  It is a little like building something from the start using the best materials.  Using inferior materials may yield an inferior product.  The same can be said about foods.  Sodium is one of those things that has a place in a diet but too much can be extremely harmful.  Understanding how it affects people can be a key in decision making.

Organ Damage Is A Risk

When people take in too much sodium, two major organs are at risk of serious damage.  An excessive amount of sodium will generally cause the body to retain water in order to balance it out.  This creates more work for the kidneys as they must purify all this liquid.  The heart may suffer for the same reason of moving so much blood through the body.  This increase in the amount of effort also tends to harden the blood vessels.  This may cause several problems, among them being high blood pressure.

It May Contribute to Some Diseases

There is some evidence indicating that too much salt can be a cause of stomach cancer.  An even more common problem is osteoporosis.  It appears that high levels of sodium may reduce the levels of calcium in the blood.  The body makes up for this deficiency by stripping calcium from the bones, reducing bone density.  This can lead to serious problems, particularly in older women.

Potassium Can Be Some Help

While the best solution is to limit sodium intake, eating more foods with higher potassium contents can do some things to improve the overall situation.  Foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables are not only enjoyable to eat, but also contain beneficial levels of potassium.  Potassium can relax blood vessels which can, in turn, lower blood pressure.  Knowing what acceptable levels of nutrients in food are, and eating accordingly, can put you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.  Apathy can always cause problems.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.

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