Like water, salt is important for our body. It is essential for the human body, without which we could never live. Salt was more precious than gold in the olden days since meats and other foods could be preserved using salts and not gold. Hence, salt was given extreme importance during the days without refrigerators and modern preservatives.

Why Salt Is Called ‘SALT’?

The word ‘salt’ is derived from the Latin word Sal, meaning salt. An interesting fact is that the English word ‘Salary’ is related to salt, as salt was the currency in the olden days in many parts of the world.

Why Do We Need Salt For, Other than Taste?
Salt has much more importance than just adding taste to our foods. We have salt flowing in our blood and other fluids without which our nerves and muscles won’t work properly. Salt is important to help our stomach in breaking down the food consumed. It also plays a vital role in transporting exhaled carbon- di- oxide back to lungs.

How Is Salt Helpful?
Salt is helpful to us in many ways.

– Salt is strong anti- stress element
– Salt is important and used to extract acidity from cells, especially brain cells.
– Salt is vital element for kidneys to extract excess acidity and pass it through urine without which body becomes highly acidic.
– Salt is essential in treating emotional and effective disorders.
– Salt is main element in treatment of diabetes and regulating the blood sugar levels.
– Salt and water play a vital role in reducing the secondary damage caused by the injection of insulin.
– Salt aids in communication and information processing of nerve cells right from conception to death.
– Salt is important to absorb food particles from intestinal tracts.
– Salt is used for cleaning lungs of mucous plugs and sticky phlegm mainly in the patients of asthma, emphysema and cystic fibrosis.
– Salt on tongue reduces dry cough while water enhances it.
– Salt prevents gout and gouty arthritis
– Salt is helpful in preventing catarrh and sinus congestion.
– Salt is helpful in preventing muscle cramps and excess saliva production during sleep.

How Much Salt Is Good?
4.2 grams is the ideal amount for an average adult per day while 1.5 grams is the minimum amount. Government advises 6 grams of salt intake for an adult and less for children but it is 10- 12 grams at the moment. Pro- salt arguers claim that kidneys pass out the extra amount salt over the needed through urine.

What Are The Effects Of Excessive Intake Of Salt?
as said earlier, it depends on our intake that makes salt a friend or enemy to our bidy. Excessive intake of salt causes hypertension and osteoporosis. Very young or very old people and people with kidneys disease cannot excrete extra salt and that may lead to health complications.

How to Control Salt Intake?
– Choose fresh foods over prepared foods that have high amount of salts.
– Flavor foods with salt alternatives like lemon, garlic, onion, herbs and spices.
– Make your own soups and pastas to cut down the salts
– Leave out salt while baking or cooking vegetables.
– Check for lower levels of salt during purchases.
– In snacks, opt for low salt varieties of crackers, chips and popcorn.
– Limit high salt pickles and sauces.

Many people feel that their food is tasty just because of salt and they feel so because they are accustomed to this kind of food. So if you cannot avoid salt then at least cut down and limit to minimum required amount.

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