We use salt every day in our food. It is one of the essential tastes and has always been used by man for seasoning as well as for preserving food from spoiling. While rock salt, sea salt or unrefined salt was used in the past, today we use the refined or table salt.
Salt is a mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride (40 percent sodium and 60 percent chloride). It is essential for all living things, but should not be taken in excess
Why Do We Need Salt?
The chloride and sodium ions are required by the body in small quantities to regulate the water content in it. Sodium is required not only for helping to keep the fluids balanced in our bodies, but also to help in the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain. It also plays a role in contracting and relaxing our muscles. As sodium attracts fluid like a magnet, excess intake of salt would result in excess retention of water in our body.
Harmful Effects of Excess Salt Intake
Too much of any mineral is harmful to the functioning of the body. Excess salt increases the amount of sodium in the body and can have serious effects on health. Although salt is used to treat problems such as dysautonomia, or disease or malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, it can also be linked to conditions such as thirst, anemia, false hunger and some major diseases such as those given below.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
High salt intake is known to increase blood pressure, which could result in the individual being affected by serious diseases like heart disease, paralysis, and stroke.
This well-known fact has been proved by an INTERSALT study of more than 10,000 people in 52 different study centers, although the effect varied from person to person. There is increasing evidence on the link between high blood pressure and high salt intake found in medical records since 1994. People from all parts of the world and from all age groups are affected by the change in their intake of salt.