Sodium is one of the most abundant elements on earth, and are easily found in the earth’s crust via runoff of salt seas and erosion. Sodium is believed to have been introduced to the earth by exploding stars entering the earth’s atmosphere, and has become an essential nutrient for the existence of life on this planet. When introduced to the chlorine content of the sea, and combine to form sodium salt, which has proven to be an invaluable asset to the modern world. But increased indulgence can create a negative imbalance in body chemistry, leading to prolonged illness.
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In its natural form, sodium identified as a silvery metal, composed of atoms that many prefer to bond with others, rather than standing alone. It is therefore sodium or Na as specified in the periodic table, can sometimes be seen as NaHCO3, also known as borax, as well as NaCl, which is commonly referred to as table salt. Also known as the atomic number 11, is sodium highly reactive, producing impressive transformations upon contact with water and air.
Since the dawn of civilization, sodium has been a hot commodity, and its use dates back to the Stone Age. Prehistoric cave dwellers thrived on a diet of strictly fruits and vegetables without the incorporation of sodium in your daily life. Oddly enough, although their diet does not consist of sodium, their bodies still craved it, and intense tours were mounted in search of sodium sources to satisfy demand. Later cultures began investigating possible uses for sodium, and found that in the form of salt can be sodium used as preservatives and spices for the meat which was slowly introduced in the human diet. As a result, the body began to acclimate to the introduction of sodium in higher volumes, a trend which continued to grow as the centuries passed. Unfortunately, overuse of sodium resulted in the human body growing intolerance, negatively affecting the systems of the body and endangering overall health.
The human body needs a steady supply of sodium to function properly. Its main task is to electrolytes that make their home inside of cells and body tissue. In return, these electrolytes control the body’s ability to regulate water and plays an important role in preventing the occurrence of dehydration. Sodium also acts as a regulator of blood pressure and flow, acid balance and muscle contractions. However, this sensitive and precise mechanical system may be disrupted by the introduction of too much sodium in the body, creating an overproduction of electrolytes that can result in a fluid imbalance.
Although it is true that sodium is very important for the proper functioning of the human body, one must consider ways to supplement this need without supplying the body with large quantities. Therefore, sodium intake is limited. It is recommended that healthy individuals refrain from consuming more than one teaspoon of salt per day, while those suffering from kidney disease and other illnesses will find tighter restrictions even more beneficial.
After hearing a doctor’s recommendation to reduce sodium intake, people often run to hide the salt shaker. Surprisingly, this practice alone does not have sufficient effect on sodium reduction. This is because of hidden sodium factor, which in almost all cases have very little to do with salt shaker anyway. As a matter of fact, most of the sodium that is introduced to the body to be attributed to the packaged and processed foods that unsuspecting humans consume. That is why it is important to read food labels, and through the sodium content of every item that will be incorporated in the diet.
A diet that is high in sodium can lead to significant health risks, including an increased risk of heart disease and hypertension, which may lead to further complications, including kidney damage. Because proper kidney function is necessary to remove the salt from the body, a decrease in productivity has large consequences. When the body is able to control the amount of sodium released, swelling can occur on the face and appendages. Shortness of breath may occur and deterioration in heart muscle. This vicious cycle of events can be avoided by monitoring your sodium intake.