Salt is a mineral composed primarily of Sodium Chloride (NaCl). It is present in vast quantities in seawater where it is the main mineral constituent. Salt is essential for general and saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings to increase appetite and salting is an important method of food preservation.
Salt has got a bad nutritional reputation. Too much of intake can cause high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease and kidney disease. However, consumption of salt in right quantity helps maintain good health.
The World Health Organization recommends that adults should consume less than 5 grams of salt per day.
1. Salt contains essential minerals
Salt contains essential minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, zinc, manganese, and copper that are responsible for vital cell function in the body. The minerals are not produced by body in a natural way.
2. Salt mains pH level
Salt maintains the pH levels in the blood. In addition, chloride in salt helps to produce hydrochloric acid that promotes digestion.
3. Salt is the main electrolyte
Salt is the main electrolyte in extracellular fluid that balances body fluid, controls blood pressure and blood sugar. In other words, it helps rehydration.
4. Salt retains water
As salt retains water, it regulates water flow throughout the body, promoting healthy nervous system. It also plays a role of transmitting nerve signals in the body and aiding muscular contraction.
5. Salt is a source of iron
While iodine is not part of salt, the salts we consume are iodized. Iodized salt prevents iodine deficiencies and therefore, salt is one of the main sources of iodine.
Just like too much of salt is associated with so many diseases, too less of salt in the body too can cause a serious condition known as Hyponatremia.