How Much Sodium Per Day To Stay Healthy?

Salt as one of the main sources of sodium, always present in the food we eat. The body does need sodium, but if excessive, will be one of the causes of hypertension. So what is the amount of sodium intake per day to stay healthy? Sodium is one of the essential minerals for the body. Sodium levels in the body about 2 percent of the total mineral. In healthy adult body, containing 256 grams of the compound sodium chloride (NaCl) which is equivalent to 100 grams of the element sodium. Normal sodium levels in the serum of 310-340 mg / dL.

Body needs sodium, has been studied by scientists working in the field of nutrition and health. Humans require a minimum of 200-500 milligrams of sodium per day to maintain salt levels in normal blood, which is 0.9 percent of the volume of blood in the body. Lack of sodium intake can cause decreased blood volume that makes the blood pressure decreased, increased heart rate, dizziness, sometimes accompanied by muscle cramps, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, decreased memory, decreased resistance to infections, wounds are difficult to heal, interference vision, unhealthy hair and split ends, and the formation of white spots on nails.

Although sodium plays an important role for the health of the body, excessive consumption should still be avoided because it may cause negative effects. The amount of sodium in natural resources led to the case of sodium deficiency is very rare. In contrast, the case of excess consumption is often an issue. Therefore, we need to look at diet, in order to avoid the negative effects of excess sodium.

Source of both vegetable and animal foods, is a natural source of sodium. Generally, animal foods contain more sodium than the vegetable. However, the main source of salt (NaCl), baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), a flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG), and preservatives used in processed foods, such as sodium nitrite and sodium benzoate.

Sodium is also easily found in everyday foods, such as soy, seafood, prepared foods, and snacks. Generally, food in its raw state already contains 10 percent sodium and 90 percent is added during the cooking process.

Today, fast food often gets the spotlight in several countries as one of the biggest causes of hypertension. By reasons of practicality and delicacy, food such as hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs have to be excellent in today's society. Though these foods are not good for health. In addition to the high fat content, they also contain very high levels of sodium, which is 2,275 mg per 100 grams.

National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences recommended sodium intake as much as 1100-3300 mg per day. The amount is equivalent to ½-1 ½ teaspoon of salt per day. For people who suffer from hypertension, sodium intake is recommended no more than 2,300 mg per day. The amount is equal to 6 grams of NaCl or approximately one teaspoon of salt.

American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consumption of Na for adults no more than 2,400 mg / day, which is equivalent to one teaspoon of salt a day. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average sodium pregnant woman needs about 2,400 mg per day, roughly equivalent to one teaspoon (read daily sodium intake).

In some countries, the level of sodium intake tends to be very high. The level of sodium intake in the United States reached 4,000-5,000 mg / day. The high sodium consumption in the US due to the high consumption of fast food, so that hypertension is the most deadly killer.

In Japan, the consumption of salt is extraordinary, which is about 25-35 grams / day. In fact, according to nutritionists, adults should ideally eat 6 grams of salt a day and children only 3 grams of salt per day. The high salt intake in Japan, because most of the food derived from marine animals, which cause 84 percent of adult men in Japan confirmed to have hypertension.

In our body there is an autonomous system to regulate the balance of sodium levels in the blood. If sodium levels are too high, the brain sends a signal thirst and encourage us to drink. In addition, if the sensors in blood vessels and kidneys aware of any increase in blood pressure and censorship in the heart finds an increase in blood volume, the kidneys are stimulated to secrete more sodium and urine, thus reducing blood volume.

If sodium levels are too low, the sensor in the blood vessels and kidneys will know when the blood volume decreases and spur a chain reaction that seeks to increase the volume of fluid in the blood. The adrenal glands will secrete the hormone aldosterone, so the kidney retain sodium. Meanwhile, the pituitary gland secrete antidiuretic hormone, so the kidneys to retain water.

Detention of sodium and water leads to reduced expenditure urine, which in turn will increase blood volume and blood pressure returned to normal. Sensitivity someone on sodium levels in the blood vary. Generally, increasing a person's age, increasing the level of sensitivity.

The function of Mineral sodium, a major cations contained in the extracellular fluid, while potassium is the major cation in the intracellular fluid. Thus, minerals Na (sodium) and K (potassium) plays an important role in regulating body fluid balance. If both are not balanced minerals, water will flow into or out of the cell to maintain concentrations of Na and K in order to stay balanced.

Sodium element is very important for the absorption of glucose in the kidneys and intestines, as well as for the transport of other nutrients across the cell membrane. Through its association with chloride (Cl) and bicarbonate, Na involved in the regulation of acid-base balance, so that the fluid is at a neutral pH range to support the body's metabolism.

Most sodium is absorbed by the small intestine and only a few are absorbed by the stomach. Of the intestine, sodium drained by the blood to the liver, then to the kidneys to be filtered and returned to the blood in an amount according to the needs of the body. Metabolic regulation of sodium by the kidneys controlled by aldosterone, a hormone that is secreted by the adrenal glands. If the low sodium intake or increase the body's needs, aldosterone levels will rise and more kidneys reabsorb (reabsorption) of sodium. The opposite occurs when excessive sodium consumption.

One of the most essential role of sodium is to maintain osmotic equilibrium or balance the flow of fluids in the body. In addition, the sodium also have an important role to stimulate the nerves and helps cells to metabolize other essential nutrients.

Together with potassium, sodium also has a role to maintain the functions and working of the heart muscle, and prevent dangerous diseases such as neurological disorders. For pregnant women, sodium served to increase the work of the heart, blood pumping in order to meet the needs of the mother and fetus.
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Writen by: Mr Soed - Friday, February 13, 2015