Sodium health benefits include preventing muscle cramps, can help prevent diabetes, promoting digestion, can help you cope with cystic fibrosis, promote oral health, maintenance of vascular tone, prevent sunstroke, promote healthy brain function, slow down aging process, help maintain body pH, helps promote restful sleep, promote weight loss, and helps stimulate a healthy appetite.
What is Sodium?
Many people have the wrong impression of the mineral sodium thinking that it is solely responsible for the development of high blood pressure, when in reality is an extremely important electrolyte mineral That is essential our overall health.
In fact, when consumed in moderation it exerts beneficial effects on our health that cannot be overstated. Interested To learn the importance of sodium and what it can do for you? Then read on and find out!
13 Impressive Benefits of Sodium
1. Prevents Muscle Cramps
Sodium and potassium are the body’s two primary electrolyte minerals, which are tasked with regulating electrolyte and fluid balance and preventing serious complications as a result. Low levels of sodium can easily result in dehydration and as a result, painful muscle cramps. This is why it is important to ensure that you consume recommended amount of dietary sodium, but toe not overdue it, especially if you would be involved in activity that will result in profuse sweating.
2. Can Help Prevent Diabetes
Though many people do not associate sodium with having a roll in prevention of diabetes, this underrated mineral can actually help to improve the way your body handles glucose. For one, sodium helps to ensure that insulin sensitivity is maintained, ensuring that excess glucose does not remain in the blood for longer than it needs to be. This of course, can help you to reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes since there is a large degree of insulin dysfunction associated with the disease.
3. Help You Cope With Cystic Fibrosis
though cystic fibrosis is most commonly known for being associated which respiratory conditions it also includes many other symptoms such as inhibition of the body’s normal salt and water balance by preventing the movement across cell membranes, and causing an the production of very salty sweat, since more sodium than normal is excreted. This is why it is important to ensure that adequate sodium is replaced by dietary means.
4. Promotes Digestion
Most people do not realize that sodium in its natural form of salt is actually chemically known as sodium chloride. The Primary digestive Aid in our stomach is the acid known as hydrochloric acid which requires chloride ions for its synthesis to continue at an optimal rate. The best source of dietary chloride ions comes from common table salt, which has guessed it naturally occurs with sodium as well. Adequate consumption of table salt, thus, in turn helps to ensure that most of the food you consume is digested in a timely manner.
5. Maintenance of Vascular Tone
Blood vessels are kept regulated in their tone thanks to the actions of both potassium and sodium on them. While potassium is necessary for the dilation of these vessels, sodium on the other hand helps ensure that there is sufficient pressure within the blood vessel walls to resist the force of blood against them and ensure blood flow to and from the heart. This is why conditions that result in sodium depletion are frequently associated with hypovolemic shock and possibly death oral.
6. Promotes Oral Health
Using a sodium chloride gargle is one of the best ways to treat a sore throat or to preserve oral health, thanks to its ability to suppress bacterial growth and the possibility of infection. Of course, let’s not forget about it’s an anesthetic properties for helping to reduce tooth pain while also helping to strengthen the gums and reduce inflammation that may have occurred as a result of an infection.
7. Prevent Sunstroke
Sunstroke is characterized by dehydration which affects the fluid balance in the body and going to result in severe cramping of muscles in the body including the heart and that of the vascular system. Science class taught us that pure water has a lower boiling point than that of saltwater, which is why sodium is so helpful in preventing sunstroke. The body is unlikely to overheat as fast as it would have if you had not insured adequate fluid balance between sodium and potassium. Plus, excess heat is likely to result in accelerated depletion of sodium ions, making it very important that you replace it in a timely manner.
8. Promotes Healthy Brain Function
Sodium also has a very important role to play in the brain, where it assists in the conduction of nerve signals along neurons in the brain so that the end result of the transmission can be executed. This is essential for coordination during movement, and should also translate well to prevention of the typical brain fog and associated dizziness or inability to focus.
9. Promotes Anti-aging
Many anti-aging preparations used topically on the skin include some form of sodium compound simply because it helps to fight the effect of free radicals on the skin. Free radicals can damage skin and promote the breakdown of the structural protein collagen, which of course will leave you looking much older than you really are. Many moisturizers also contain sodium, which is one of the most important things to prevent excessive evaporation of water, promoting its hydrating properties.
10. Helps Maintain Body pH
pH is a measure of the relative balance between acid and alkali compounds, with the body overall requiring a very slightly alkaline-neutral environment for best cellular function. Sodium is able to help maintain this balance thanks to its regulatory actions on the kidney, promoting urine excretion, urine being an acidic compound. This helps to prevent recycling of ions into the blood that make it more acidic, and assist with regulation of normal function.
11. Sodium Helps Promote Restful Sleep
Sodium is a mineral which possesses potent anti-catabolic properties, helping to minimize the effect of the stress hormone cortisol on the body. This is why people that consume low sodium diets typically report greater difficulty in getting to sleep and staying asleep. Unless you are predisposed to hypertension, it is a better option to keep your sodium intake within the normal ranges and not avoid it completely.
12. Promotes Weight Loss
Though most people know that sodium has a strong potency for water retention, it can actually assist with weight loss when you do it right. For example sodium has already been noted about its ability to suppress your cortisol levels, Cortisol being a potent hormone that promotes water and fat retention. Cortisol arguably has a stronger effect on weight gain than sodium alone, as it influences other hormones to slow down the metabolism of fat as well.
13. Stimulates A Healthy Appetite
The taste of food has a strong correlation to your actual appetite, which explains why bland food is not going to motivate you to eat. While this may be good news for weight loss it is absolutely bad news for people who wish to gain weight or maintain an ideal weight. It is always advised to keep sodium consumption within the recommended daily levels, and the only reduce this if you know that you are predisposed to hypertension or other diseases associated with sodium disorders.
The next time someone tells you sodium is bad for you, you can now have a lengthy conversation with them explaining to them all the merits of why sodium is actually good. It’s one of the most important minerals needed for healthy metabolism and cannot be replaced by any other nutrient. Just be sure to keep your consumption levels within the recommendation for your gender and bodyweight and you can experience all the benefits with minimal risk of adverse effects.