Reducing Sodium May Improve Health
By Tom Herrin
It is no secret that diet plays a critical role in our health. The old saying that you are what you eat is as true today as whenever it was first tossed into a conversation. The things people eat truly become a part of their bodies. There is a much greater awareness about many things that were once considered fine but have been discovered to be bad. At one time, many people thought smoking was good for digestion, fat cattle were considered to produce desirable meat, and potatoes were a staple in many diets. As research has shown much of this to be different, people have done a better job of obtaining more knowledge about their diets. One of the things that many people still take in too much of is sodium. Many people are still unaware of just how much is in the food they eat.
Many People Associate It With High Blood Pressure
The effects of sodium on blood pressure is not a secret. Too much sodium can cause the body to retain more water in an effort to balance out the sodium. This causes the heart to work harder which can make blood vessels stiffen. In studies of people with different levels of sodium in their blood, those with higher levels of sodium have shown to have consistently higher blood pressure. In China, high blood pressure is considered to be the number one cause of death from preventable disease.
Sodium May Increase the Risks of Other Diseases
Research has shown that higher intakes of salt or sodium can increase the chances of stomach cancer. A more striking connection to disease is the possible correlation between sodium and osteoporosis. It seems that increased levels of sodium can cause calcium to be lost from the blood. In order to compensate, the body drains calcium from the bones. This can reduce bone density. Older women are especially susceptible to this problem.
Potassium Can Salvage Some of This
Even though the best choice is to avoid excessive amounts of sodium, there are some dietary things that may help. Potassium can help to relax blood vessels, which can lower blood pressure. It also helps to remove sodium from the blood. Potassium is usually available in fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating more of them is can be flavorful as well as a good healthy choice. A diet high in potassium and low in sodium is much more ideal for good health.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Redmond, Wash.