Thanks to its link with high blood pressure, salt has a bad name. However, fitness expert Kunal Sharma tells us why this mineral is absolutely essential.
The health benefits of salt
Kunal Sharma tells us, “Salt, either common salt or mineral-rich salt, is perhaps the most undervalued and the most neglected mineral in the human body. However, sodium is a very important mineral in the body, and along with minerals like potassium and magnesium, extremely essential in maintaining and enjoying good health.”
He continues, “In fact, studies have shown that a low salt diet raises the body temperature and increases blood pressure and pulse rate. It can also result in osteoporosis or osteopenia.”
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT WHY SALTS ARE IMPORTANT. WITHOUT SALT IN THE DIET:
Arteries get tighter. Uric acid levels rise. Chances of diseases like IBS, colitis and many gastrointestinal problems increase. Bones become weaker. Vision becomes weak. Kidneys get affected. Might result in weight gain. Increases muscle cramps.
SOME INTERESTING SALT-BASED FACTS:
Eating sugary food leads to increased sugar cravings, but the same is not the case with salty food. Your body has its own indicator of
A low salt diet raises the body temperature and increases blood pressure and pulse rate. It can also result in osteoporosis or osteopenia.
how much salt to consume and never gives you salt cravings. Insects’ bodies are high in salts, which helps them control their speed and movement. Like insects, the blood in our body is salty too. If we feel fatigued, low or depressed, a pinch of salt helps revive us instantly. This is because salts are electrolytes and ionize when dissolved in water. These ions are electrically conductive and help receive and send messages throughout the body, and facilitate cell hydration. So the next time you’re down and out, a pinch of salt in water will do the trick! Salt also increases the body’s ability to absorb calcium, which decreases the chances of kidney stones.
HOW MUCH IS THE RECOMMENDED DOSE? Around 2400 to 3000 mg of salt per day is the recommended dose - which is almost one teaspoon of salt. But if you are exercising one hour a day, then your salt intake must increase. For competitive athletes, the recommended dosage is 6000 mg per day!
In fact, if you exercise, try taking a pinch of salt before and after your workout and compare your performance level. You will see a marked improvement on days you had salt.
WHAT SALT TO CONSUME:
Sea salt, Himalayan salt or Celtic salts are recommended over common salt as they contain magnesium and potassium as well as sodium. Magnesium is a vital mineral as it controls the absorption of sodium and potassium at the cellular level. Beans, nuts, vegetables and fruits are all rich sources of magnesium.
HOW TO CHECK IF YOU’RE DEFICIENT IN SALT:
To check the deficiency of salt in the body, you can opt for a blood urea nitrogen test. If the level of blood urea nitrogen is high, it means you are deficient in salt.
Without a test, to check salt deficiency, try this: Stand up suddenly from the sitting position. If you feel dizzy, it might be an indicator of salt deficiency.