Thu | Aug 6, 2020

Salt 101

Published:Thursday | March 12, 2020 | 12:15 AM

Salt is a staple item in many kitchens and is usually the go-to item for adding flavour to your favorite dishes. Still, too much of the mineral can have harmful effects on your health. Although Salt Awareness Week (March 9-15) is coming to an end, it’s never too late to learn about the white crystalline substance. Here are the facts.

Health benefits of consuming salt

Keeps the body hydrated

Your cells, muscles and tissues all benefit from hydration. Salt helps the body to absorb the necessary amount of water to keep the organs functioning properly. This prevents dehydration, muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue.

Helps the thyroid

In order for your thyroid, which secretes hormones that regulate growth and development through metabolism rate, to function properly, mineral iodine is required. And salt is a primary source of the compound.

Prevents low blood pressure

If your diet is low in sodium, it’s highly likely that you’ll have a low blood pressure, a reading below 90/60 millimetres of mercury. Sodium is a chemical compound that’s found in salt.

Disadvantages of consuming too much salt

Increases Water Retention

On the flip side to keeping the body hydrated, too much salt can result in water retention and bloating. That’s because your kidney would not be able to filter the excess sodium that lingers in your bloodstream. As a result of a sodium build-up, your body will hold on to excess water, simply to try to filter the sodium surplus.

Deteriorates Cardiovascular Health

Your heart and blood vessels are placed at risk because of water retention in the body. Oftentimes, this leads to high blood pressure and places you at risk of heart attacks and strokes.