For such a simpler substance, salt or sodium chloride has got a very complex past. Once regarded as equivalent to gold, salt was used as a chemical agent to clean, dry, soften leather and bleach. But more importantly, early humans recognized salt as a necessary part of their diet and the element worth fighting for.
Occasionally, salt due to its content of sodium chloride has been regarded by the health experts as potentially harmful for the body health especially the cardiovascular system. Scientists keep salt in news by debating its role in a healthful diet.
But the one fact that no one challenges is that the human body needs salt to function. Sodium, the main component of salt, is the main component of body extracellular fluids and it helps carry nutrients into the cells. Sodium also helps regulate other body functions, such as blood pressure and fluid volume and sodium works on the lining of the blood vessels to keep the pressure balance normal.
Salt aids in keeping calcium and other minerals soluble in blood. It helps regulate the muscle contractions. It plays a significant part in nerve stimulation by increasing conductivity in the nerve cells for communication and information processing. It is necessary for the production of the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It clears the mucus plugs and sticky phlegm in the lungs, particularly in asthma and in cystic fibrosis cases. It regulates fluid balance when the temperature rises. And it is its combination with water that energizes and activates our bodies.
However, there is a specific amount of salt recommended for daily use. It has been determined that the recommended safe minimum daily amount of salt intake should be in the range of 500mg/day to 2,400mg/day.
Intake of salt less than 500mg/day can cause harmful effects like spasms, irregular heart rhythms, increase risk of heart attack in hypertensive patients and can even cause sudden deaths.
Intake of salt more than 2,400mg/day can cause severe health problems including high blood pressure and high acidity, which in turn may lead to the cancer in the digestive tract.
Therefore, it is always beneficial to take the salt within the safe limits and enjoy the different flavors of any food.