FIT BIT

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.

Savvy - - Contents -

The health ben­e­fits of salt

Fit­ness Ex­pert

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.

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