Sodium is an essential part of our diet. We need to eat it to maintain proper brain functioning, muscle contractions, and the balance of other bodily systems. Sodium is present in baking soda, soy sauce, and rock salt.
Sodium is benefiting us in many ways such as maintaining cognitive function, preventing blood pressure, increasing metabolism and reducing stress. There are many more benefits of daily consumption of sodium.
If you are still curious about why sodium is important for us read this article till the end. So, you can find the answer.
15 Benefits Of Sodium Explaining Its Importance For Us
Sodium is benefiting humans in many ways. The 15 benefits are stated as follows which will enforce you to consume sodium in your diet.
1. Sodium Helps Maintain Cognitive Function
Sodium is a component of salt that helps maintain cognitive function. Your brain needs a specific amount of sodium to transmit messages from one nerve cell to another. Without it, you will feel dizzy and weak.
Inadequate levels of this mineral have been associated with higher incidences of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and bipolar disorder as well as poor attention spans leading to learning disabilities in children. But don’t overdo it because too much salt consumption can also cause these same neurological diseases.
2. Sodium Can Increase Metabolism
If you add salt to your food, this can boost your metabolism. It increases the number of calories that your body burns at rest for about 30 minutes. Sodium stimulates the nervous system and triggers reactions in muscle cells.
These reactions increase the burning of carbohydrates and fats. This process increases heat production and results in more calories burned during daily activities such as exercising and doing regular jobs.
3. Sodium Is Crucial For Muscle Function
Sodium helps activate muscles by triggering nerve impulses. It stimulates muscle contraction as well as those responsible for breathing. It also regulates the movement of calcium into muscle cells which then triggers muscle contraction.
4. Sodium Combats Dehydration
Without sodium, cells would not be able to function. The amount of sodium in the blood must remain within a narrow range otherwise serious problems may occur. If too much water is taken in relative to sodium, this can cause brain swelling due to increased fluid buildup inside the skull.
A condition is known as acute hypervolemic hyponatremia. This is often seen among marathon runners because they are constantly drinking large amounts of water without replenishing electrolytes. Also, low salt levels caused by sweating during prolonged exercise causes muscle cramps.
By drinking lots of fluids while exercising, electrolyte balance can be maintained to prevent problems.
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5. Sodium Helps Prevent High Blood Pressure
A low sodium diet increases heart rate and causes increased stress on the cardiovascular system. When less salt is consumed, water retention decreases, and the body has to work harder to maintain normal blood pressure levels.
By increasing salt intake, fluid retention returns and this helps lower blood pressure naturally without adding stress on the heart. The best way to lower your risk for developing high blood pressure from consuming too little salt is by getting plenty of potassium from fruits and vegetables while cutting back on processed foods.
6. Sodium Increases Insulin Sensitivity
Consuming enough sodium helps in regulating insulin levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. That means less insulin will need to be released into the bloodstream, which can help eliminate high cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart disease or diabetes.
By increasing your salt intake, insulin sensitivity will increase and help prevent heart disease and diabetes.
7. Sodium is Required for Proper Brain Function
Sodium ions play an essential role in the brain by helping to transmit nerve impulses between cells. Adequate amounts of sodium are necessary for proper brain function. It helps in controlling movements and enables mental functioning and thinking. It regulates body temperature.
It controls the flow of fluids across cell membranes assists with the storage and release of neurotransmitters.
8. Sodium Deficiency Induces Stress
Although many people blame high salt intake for stress on the body’s systems, insufficient sodium is much more likely to cause the symptoms of stress. When sodium levels become too low, physical and mental performance quickly decline because of sodium deficiency in the brain.
By increasing your salt intake, you can help improve mood by providing positive ions that help stimulate serotonin production. A neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being.
9. Sodium Helps Digest Foods
Salt is what makes food taste good in addition to causing us to crave it in excess. Sodium also enhances the flavor and savory quality of food. When you eat a meal that contains salt, this causes your body to retain water. This is why you feel bloated after eating a salty meal.
10. Sodium Increases Energy Levels in Athletes
You often hear about athletes eating a lot of sodium to boost their energy levels, especially when they sweat or lose electrolytes during training or endurance activities. Heavy sweating can cause the total body sodium level to drop significantly.
11. Sodium Helps Control Appetite
As with most living things, salt plays a key role in appetite regulation. Sodium deficiency causes the body’s chemistry changes. It is more difficult for leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite, to be produced.
A diet high in processed foods can cause this problem. They contain very little sodium which leads to fewer leptin receptors on cells. Then speeds up metabolism and causes excess weight loss. Consuming plenty of natural salt helps regulate hunger by normalizing appetite hormones.
12. Sodium Helps the Liver Function Properly
Your liver needs sodium to function properly. Without an adequate supply, your body cannot break down toxic substances, or produce enough bile so they stay in the bloodstream. People who drink alcohol regularly are more likely to suffer from liver problems because alcohol dehydrates cells which increases sodium loss through urine.
13. Sodium Helps Prevent Insomnia
By increasing your salt intake, potassium levels will also increase which is necessary for proper nerve transmission. It also helps prevent adrenal fatigue by regulating the cortisol levels in your body. It does this by balancing out sodium and potassium levels within cells.
These two ions are responsible for controlling fluid balance throughout your body. When either of them becomes too high or low, they send signals to the brain that cause insomnia, constant thirst, waking up at night to urinate, and more.
14. Sodium Helps Prevent Cancer
Studies had done on lab animals show how a high salt diet can prevent cancer. It prevents the formation of tumors by inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels that feed the tumor cells. Without this nutritional supply, the growth of cancerous cells will stop and aids in dissolving metastatic lesions.
Researchers have found that a high intake of sodium causes your body to release more growth hormones which then increases insulin production. Another factor that has been linked with certain types of cancer including breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
15. Sodium Helps Maintain Electrolyte Balance
Sodium is one of the major electrolytes found within your body so you need a sufficient amount daily. It helps maintain normal fluid balance inside and outside of your cells. When you don’t have enough, your cells will swell with water causing hyponatremia (also known as low sodium levels).
Importance Of Sodium – Conclusion
Sodium not only enhances the taste of food but also boosts the appetite, maintains blood pressure, and prevents cancer. When you are consuming sodium this means you are rewarding your body.
Sodium combats dehydration which is helpful for athletes. Because of sweating, they lose a lot of sodium and water in the body. Sodium consumption stimulates their energy and also keeps them hydrated. It also fights insomnia and diabetes.
Samra has completed her master’s in literature & loves to write about topics that piques her interests. Here, she is working on exploring that importance of things that matters to her.