Importance of sodium

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sodiumSodium is a chemical commonly found in nature and is represented scientifically by the character “Na”. One would wonder how this chemical can be important to the human body as the common misconception is that chemical is harmful to humans and nature.

Sodium is soft and silvery white element in appearance. It would surprise many to know that sodium is found inside the human body along with other elements.

It is commonly consumed as sodium chloride or table salt or rock salt which not only enhances the taste of food but also forms an integral part of human body.

Sodium is highly reactive but alkaline in nature. It is malleable and essential for regulation of body fluids and blood. It transmits nerve impulses and controls heart activity. It assists in metabolic functions. Presence of this element and more so in a balanced form is very essential to the smooth running of the human body.

Although sodium is not crucial for the survival of plants but they still do contain it and in forms that is easily digestible by human body.

The foods that are high in sodium content are beet greens and beetroots, milk and milk products like buttermilk, cheese etc., legumes and lentils like Garbanzo beans, black-eyed beans and chickpeas, pulses, celery, canned foods, corn meal, lotus stems, fruits, fish and lean meat Kelp, green leafy vegetables like spinach, Olives, Oysters, Self-rising flour, Shrimp, Swiss Chard, Whelks and Wakame amongst other things.

Sodium is consumed by the body in very small quantities. It helps maintain the blood pressure levels. A balanced diet is essential as too less or too much of sodium can be harmful to the human body.

Although there are no substitutes for natural sodium like in the form of medications, it is not required too as sodium is available in abundance in nature.

Lack of sodium can lead to low blood pressures while higher sodium levels can lead to high blood pressure. This is the reason why doctors advise patients to lower the consumption of sodium intake and substitute it with potassium salt.