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Sodium - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

What is Sodium?

The Sodium mineral is also known as salt. The typical modern diet has more than enough in the form of sodium chloride otherwise it is known a table salt. It is found in processed foods, cured meats, canned vegetables, salty snacks and condiments. Approximately 30% of the sodium mineral inside the body is stored in the bones and the balance is found in body fluids. Sodium is a main component of blood plasma and approximately 60% is contained in the fluids that surround cells. About 10% of the body's sodium is stored inside the cells. Sodium excess is a more likely scenario, but profound sweating, fever, diarrhea; fasting and very low-salt diets can result in symptoms like muscle twitching, dehydration, memory loss, nausea, poor concentration and loss of appetite.

Uses and Benefits of Sodium

  1. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a crucial role in maintaining blood pressure. Along with potassium and chloride, it use as acid-base balance in the body.
  2. It is also involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction, including the heartbeat.
  3. High sodium diets, common in modern society, may lead to water retention and hypertension.
  4. Sodium is an electrolyte. It along with chloride and potassium helps control the electrical charges that occur between cells. These electrical charges are used by cells to communicate with one another. The electrical charges are also what give our five senses the ability to see, smell, touch, hear and taste.

Deficiency Symptoms of Sodium

  1. The body loses sodium every day by the way of the urine and also via sweat, which is why a considerable amount is lost on hot days and also by exercise session.
  2. Symptoms of a sodium deficiency that is combined with a loss of water most often include muscle cramps and weakness, dizziness, an inability to concentrate, memory impairment and nausea.
  3. If the deficiency symptoms of sodium become serious, the circulatory system can collapse and the body can go into shock.
  4. The deficiency symptoms may include fatigue, apathy, muscle twitching and anorexia may also occur.
  5. A deficiency in sodium alone can allow water to enter the cells causing the cells to become swollen. Water intoxication may result.

Recommended Dosage of Sodium

There is no official Recommended Dietary Allowance or Dietary Reference Intake for this mineral but a minimum requirement range has been estimated at 200 - 500 mg per day.

Rich Food Sources of Sodium

Most processed and preserved foods contain high quantity of sodium. Potato chips and pretzels, hot dogs, ham and bacon, tomato sauces, ketchup, lunch meats and canned soups are good sources of sodium. The natural substance in which the sodium mineral is present are meat, chicken, eggs, nuts, seafood, fish, carrots, beets, artichokes, cauliflower, celery and even milk.

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