What is salt?

Salt comprises about 60% chloride and about 40% sodium. Sodium is a mineral required for proper muscle and nerve function to maintain a healthy body. In addition, it helps your body maintain the appropriate water and mineral balance, which it does in conjunction with chloride.

Salt is frequently used as both a preservative and a seasoning. Most of the unprocessed meat we usually see in the market is in sodium; that’s why we need salt every time we prepare our meals.

Importance of Salt On Your Body

We might be unfamiliar with this, but salt greatly affects our overall health. Both too much and too little salt can have serious impacts on your health. It has a list of characteristics that can be helpful to our bodies. Here are the few great things about salt and what it does to our bodies that you need to know about:

• (A small amount of) Salt keeps you hydrated.

Your body requires a delicate balance of sodium and potassium to maintain a higher level of hydration. This is because sodium is followed by water in your body; consequently, if you consume excess sodium, your body will hold more water. This is because sodium is followed by water in your body.

It is essential to replenish both salt and water losses, which occur as a result of sweat, for individuals who work outdoors, particularly those who regularly engage in physical activity. When the body is dehydrated, medical professionals recommend using a mixture of water, sugar, and salt to replace the fluids that your body needs.

This is why athletes drink fluids with electrolytes rather than straight water.

• Salt enhances your cardiovascular health.

It has demonstrated that the amount of salt in one’s diet plays a role in determining one’s blood pressure and also affects one’s cardiovascular health, which is mainly associated with the risk of a stroke or a heart attack.

One of the leading contributors to such occurrences is hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Health problems can be caused by not getting enough calcium, magnesium, or sodium in one’s diet. Keeping a tight rein on how much salt you take in can significantly impact your blood pressure.

Consuming additional salt and fluids that are high in hydration can help manage low blood pressure. This will assist in increasing the volume of blood within the arteries, which will lead to an increase in blood pressure.

However if you already have high-blood pressure you will often be advised to reduce your salt intake instead!

• Salt improves your dental hygiene.

Salt plays a big role as a natural remedy for dental issues. A saltwater rinse works wonders when dental medications and treatments are out of reach. Also, toothpaste manufacturers use salt as a common ingredient.

Because salt increases the pH balance in your mouth, it is more difficult for bacteria that cause cavities to thrive in an alkaline environment.

• Salt can cure sore throat.

Using salt to treat dental conditions can heal your sore throat by repeatedly gargling saltwater.

• Salt helps manage diabetes.

Insulin levels need to be maintained at a healthy level to keep a healthy body. Consuming a diet with a low sodium content can make the body less sensitive to the effects of insulin. This causes a decrease in the body’s ability to metabolize glucose, resulting in low energy levels being provided to the liver, muscles, and nervous system, which may eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.

They say that too much of a good thing will not be good anymore. Well, this also implies the effects of salt on our bodies. Although salt has many benefits and positively impacts our health, excessive salt intake also leads to illnesses and disorders.

The Effects of Excessive Salt Intake

• Increased sensation of thirst

If you’ve noticed that you’ve been extremely thirsty, this could indicate that you’re consuming excessive salt. When this occurs, you will start to become dehydrated.

As a result of the process by which your body extracts fluids from your cells, you may find that you become extremely thirsty. Consuming water will help neutralize the effects of salt on your body and refresh your cells.

• Increased blood pressure levels

Many different causes could contribute to your high blood pressure, but excessive sodium could be one of them. The fluctuation in your blood pressure is due to your kidneys, which are responsible for the change.

When you consume excessive salt, it becomes more difficult for your kidneys to eliminate excess fluid. Your blood pressure will rise as a direct consequence of this.

• Fluid retention

Salt contains sodium which stimulates water. Consuming a large number of food that are high in sodium will cause fluid retention in the body. You will appear to have more puffiness all over your body, particularly in the areas around your eyes and abdomen.

Also, there is a chance that you will experience swelling in both of your hands and feet. There is also a possibility that fluid retention is also responsible for weight gain.

• Inadequate sleep

Ate a lot of salty food before going to bed? Too much salt intake could result in not having a good night’s sleep or even feeling restlessness the morning after. Surprisingly, excessive intake of salt also affects the quality of our sleep.

• Higher risks of chronic diseases

Consistent consumption of excessive salt puts your body at risk of developing health problems in the future. It may increase your risk of developing various health conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, kidney failure or stones, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, and a stroke.

Ingestion of excessive salt: What To Do?

There are a few things that you could do to flush out the excess salt in your body. Here’s what you can do:

• Hydrate.

Maintaining proper hydration is vital. Drinking enough water can assist the body in flushing out excess sodium from the system. This can be accomplished by drinking an adequate amount of water. Keeping yourself well-hydrated will help you feel less bloated overall.

Drinking a lot of can help to counteract your excessive salt intake.

• Increase your potassium intake.

Potassium is an effective antidote to sodium. It does this by mitigating the negative effects of sodium and assisting in sodium excretion from the body, which contributes to better blood pressure control. Potassium is mainly found in food such as bananas, white beans, dark leafy greens, and potatoes.

• Move around and sweat it out!

Increasing the exercise that you participate in is an excellent way to assist your body in sweating out any excess sodium that may be present in your system.

When you exercise, your body will release a mixture of water and salt as a waste product. Because of this process, it is essential to maintain a good level of hydration when working out regularly, which includes drinking water whenever necessary while you are working out.’

You can also try a sauna if you can’t do a workout. Sweating is one of the best ways to release toxins from your body.

• Cut back on your salt.

Fighting the urge to season food with extra salt when cooking or eating it is important. A great way to reduce the amount of sodium you take in on a daily basis is to minimize the amount of highly processed foods you consume and to seek alternatives to your favorite meals that are lower in sodium whenever possible.

Also, preparing your meals at home gives you control over how much salt to add to your meals. You can also add additional flavor without increasing the amount of sodium by using herbs and spices. Unlike fast food and takeaways, you won’t know how much salt is added to your food unless stated.


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