Consuming Too Much Sodium?
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
If you are consuming too much sodium and not getting enough potassium, you may be heading to a decline in cognition. Recent studies show that a high dietary sodium intake is associated with cognitive decline and that higher levels of dietary potassium are linked to improved cognitive function.
Diet is a crucial aspect of overall health
While the body produces some components of these minerals, you can also get vital nutrients from food sources. Making healthy food choices affects multiple areas of health, including brain function.
Salt (sodium chloride) - is a mineral substance of great importance to human and animal health. It helps the body regulate fluid levels, blood pressure, and muscle and nerve function. Sodium is naturally present in many foods and is added to others to enhance flavors and preserve freshness. Although a minimum amount of sodium is required for good health, a diet high in sodium can lead to elevated blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, osteoporosis, kidney disease, and stomach cancer. On average, Americans eat more than 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 (mg) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.
The mineral form halite, or rock salt, is common salt to distinguish it from a class of chemical compounds called salts. To ensure this hygroscopic (water-attracting) substance remains free-flowing, small quantities of sodium aluminosilicate, tricalcium phosphate, or magnesium silicate are added. Iodized salt is salt to which small amounts of potassium iodide have been added and is widely used in areas where iodine is lacking from the diet. A deficiency can cause thyroid gland swelling, commonly called goiter.
Potassium - is an essential mineral critical to many body functions, including the delivery of nerve signals, contraction of muscles, regulation of heartbeats and blood pressure, movement of nutrients into cells, and the removal of cellular waste.
The National Institutes of Health recommend that all adults consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily. Nursing women 5,100 milligrams daily for optimal health because a portion of their consumption goes to their unborn infant. Infants and children up to 13 require between 400 and 3,800 milligrams, depending on their age and weight.
A diet rich in potassium is associated with impressive health benefits. It may prevent or alleviate a variety of health problems, including:
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