Ok, so coming from a family with notoriously high blood pressure, I made a promise to myself years ago that I would do everything in my power to live a healthy lifestyle and so far (besides the diabetes thing) things have turned out quite well. So what is sodium and how does it effect our body. Sodium is an abundant metallic element that is an important mineral for all living organisms. It is also widely used industrially to make an assortment of consumer goods. The soft metal also appears in an abundance of compounds, such as sodium chloride, better known as salt.
In a pure form, sodium is a soft, silvery gray, highly reactive metal. It is usually stored in a nonreactive substance, as it oxidizes rapidly when exposed to air, quickly forming a thick coating. The element is also highly explosive when exposed to moisture and water, to the delight of many chemistry students. Since it is so reactive, it is usually found naturally in compounds with other elements. Many of these compounds, such as salt, are extremely stable and perfectly safe to handle. Others, like sodium hydroxide, need to be handled carefully as they can be hazardous.
Sodium And High Blood Pressure:
Excess sodium accumulates in your blood, where it attracts and holds water. When you retain water, your blood volume increases and your heart beats harder to circulate the blood. This raises blood pressure. You exhibit no obvious symptoms when your blood pressure is high, but you develop related health problems over time. Many medical professionals refer to high blood pressure as “the silent killer” due to its health impacts and its lack of symptoms. Have your blood pressure tested during your regular physical. You can also test your blood pressure at automated testing stations at pharmacies or when you donate blood. If it is high, consult your doctor for advice on treating your condition.
Sodium And Stroke:
Many risk factors are cause for a stroke, but high blood pressure is the most significant among them. You are four times as likely to experience a stroke with high blood pressure, according to Better Health Channel. Blood pressure contributes to strokes in several ways. If your arteries narrow due to plaque buildup, it accelerates this condition and plaque is more likely to dislodge, than travel through your bloodstream. When plaque blocks blood flow to your brain, one type of stroke occurs. Ruptured artery walls cause another type of stroke. Both types, known respectively as embolic and haemorrhagic strokes, damage the affected part of your brain. They often result in permanent brain damage, paralysis or death.
Tips To Reduce Sodium In Your Diet:
- Read labels when food shopping – and choose accordingly.
- Avoid adding salt when cooking, and at the dining table.
- Reduce consumption of salty snacks.
- Avoid processed and fast food.
- Buy fresh cold meats instead of processed varieties.-
- Look for lower-sodium breakfast cereals.
- Rinse canned foods packed in water before eating.
- Keep the condiments like mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, relish and salad dressing to a minimum, as most have high sodium levels
- Ditch those packet-soups and most microwavable meals
- Choose unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and brown rice.
Healthy adults should limit their daily sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. Adults with high blood pressure should have no more than 1,500 mg per day. Those with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and kidney disease may need much lower amounts.
The specific daily sodium intake recommended for infants, children, and adolescents is not clear. Eating habits and attitudes about food formed during childhood are likely to influence eating habits for life. For this reason, it is a good idea to avoid eating too much salt or try and remove as much sodium as possible from your diet.
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