The first step towards healthy living is healthy eating. With changing lifestyles, stress related issues have become one of the primary causes for a more serious health condition As quoted by (sources such as) WebMD, higher sodium levels can cause hypertension leading to further problems.
Reduced risk of hypertension
One of the greatest health risks of high sodium intake is hypertension. Sodium absorbs water from the diet and retains it in the body, which is a normal process of homeostasis. However, if there is too much sodium in the body, the water absorption and retention ability of the body increases. If your body cannot adjust accordingly to the change to get rid of the excess water, there is an increased fluid capacity in the body. This then results in increased pressure, which is normally referred to as hypertension or high blood pressure. As such, lower sodium intake in your diet reduces your risk of hypertension considerably.
Reduced risk of ulcers
Ulcers are sores that could occur anywhere in your body, either internally or externally, due to a number of reasons. Ulcers in the digestive tract, especially the stomach and small intestines, are a common occurrence in people who have a habit of taking high amounts of sodium. Aside from the pain, you might have other complications such as heartburn, loss of appetite, restlessness, and loss of productivity and so on, due to ulcers. Besides, you would need expensive medication or surgery to get rid of the ulcers, yet a reduced sodium intake could help you avoid it altogether.
Reduced risk of osteoporosis
Increased sodium intake leads to increased urination. Higher amounts of dietary calcium, which is responsible for bone formation, structure, and density, get lost with the increased urination. This results in weakened bones and an increased risk of osteoporosis. More so, the loss of calcium from the bones is reduced with reduced sodium intake.
Overall, you are at a reduced risk of contracting many of the lifestyle diseases by reducing the amount of sodium in your salt and therefore, diet.
Here are a few ways to reduce sodium intake:
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables which have minimum natural sodium
- Know what you consume: It is always a good practice to read the label & ingredients of any consumable product you buy
- Reduce processed foods that contain preservatives in the form of ‘added sodium’
- Switch to low-sodium salt
Healthy eating habits combined with the regular exercise and good sleep are absolutely essential to combat stress and stay happy!