Sodium is usually consumed in the diet as sodium chloride, or table salt. It is an essential element, which is used in the body to regulate fluid and maintain the proper pH balance. But too much salt in your diet is one of the main causes of high blood pressure, especially in people with sensitivity to salt
Salt has been used as a preservative and additive to enhance flavor since ancient China and Egypt. These early societies obtained salt by evaporating brine in clay pots. There is evidence of salt mining from around 700 f. Kr. in Europe by early Celts. It was one of the most traded items throughout history because it is important for health. Until the cooling was developed, salt was the primary method provided for preserving food.
Sodium is important for the body to function properly. It is used by the body to help regulate fluid and pH, as well as nerve and muscle function. Sodium works with other electrolytes, potassium and chloride, to move nutrients and waste into and out of cells, and to help transmit nerve impulses throughout the body.
The smallest amount of sodium required daily for bodily function is at least 500 milligrams. The recommended amount is around 1,500 milligrams per day depending on age, physical activity and health. This is about 3800 milligrams table salt. A teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium.
The amount of sodium in the body is regulated by the kidneys. Sodium leaves the body through urine and sweat. The more salt that is consumed, the more the kidneys work to get rid of excess sodium. When the kidneys are unable to process all of sodium, causes the excess sodium in the body fluid retention. More fluid in the body increases the volume of blood, thereby increasing blood pressure. If smaller amounts of sodium is ingested, the kidneys reduce the amount secreted, thereby regulating the amount your body needs.
Sodium chloride is available in quite a few different varieties. Common table salt is available with or without iodine, an additive used since the 1920s to prevent iodine deficiency Disorders. Kosher salt is a courser grain than table salt and has no additives. Sea salt is usually course grained as well and have other trace minerals that can affect flavor. Pickling salt is fine grained salt without additives. Salt substitutes combine potassium or magnesium with chloride rather than sodium, usually used to treat high blood pressure. Rock salt comes in large crystals and are used to melt ice than in food.