We always advise people to lower salt intake in their food, as it may cause blood pressure to surge. While this is true, we must not completely avoid salt in our food.
Salt has many benefits in our body, as it can be said that it regulates many important functions in the body that we are normally not aware of.
Salt, also known as sodium chloride, helps in the better functioning of the thyroid gland and also controls our weight, as it increases the rate at which we burn the calories of the food.
If the quality of salt is Himalayan or sea salt, then it is much better for your health.
Salt also prevents magnesium deficiency, as it helps to retain this mineral in our body. A diet low in salt will result in the excretion of magnesium, calcium and potassium from the urine, and our body will be deficient in these important minerals.
The recommended daily intake of salt should be 2300 mg per day and not more than that. For people who have crossed their 50's, the recommended salt intake should be about 1500 mg per day.
However, if one has kidney problems and high blood pressure, he/she must avoid salt and consult a doctor regarding how much salt to take.
Let's have a look at the health benefits of salt in our food.
Having a recommended amount of salt in our food will increase our metabolism, this means that the rate at which calories are burned will be increased. Food will not be stored as a fat, but will be utilised for energy purposes. Salt also lowers cortisol levels, and thus helps in weight loss.
Improves The Function Of The Thyroid Gland
Salt improves the formation and secretion of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4 from the thyroid gland, thus preventing hypothyroidism. Salt prevents the secretion of the stress hormone, cortisol, which is harmful for the thyroid gland.
Salt in the body controls and normalises excess blood sugar level by making insulin work effectively. Sometimes, due to insulin resistance, insulin does not recognise sugar to transport it into the body's cells from the blood. This insulin resistance can be one of the reasons for diabetes. Thus, a diet very low in salt can cause insulin resistance.
Aids In A Proper Digestion Of Food
The digestive acid present in the stomach to digest food is called hydrochloric acid and salt, which is sodium chloride, helps in the formation of stomach acid. Low hydrochloric acid in the stomach means poor digestion, gases and bloating.
Salts Helps You To Sleep Well
Salt increases the metabolic rate and prevents the secretion of stress hormones in the body. This helps in relaxing our mind and body, and thus we have a good night's sleep. Most people having a low salt diet daily complain of poor sleep.
Reduces Death Rate
A study has shown that consuming salt less than 2300 mg per day can increase the death rate. This means people eating less salt than the daily recommended dose have higher chances of dying early in their life as compared to people consuming 2300 mg or more sodium per day.
Prevents Shivering And Nervousness
Salt also prevents the excess secretion of adrenaline in the body. Adrenaline is secreted in defense of the body, when the body is under threat or stress, to increase the heart beat and other vital functions. Excess secretion of adrenaline can cause an increased heart beat, shivering and nervousness.
If you are having any allergic reaction, sprinkling a pinch of salt on your tongue can prevent an asthmatic attack or allergic cold. This is one of the best benefits of salt.