Whenever we are eating beans in our house, I guess its d salt geenie that performs the magic but I always end up putting too much salt in the beans. Anytime my Dad calls me, whenever he is eating the beans I cooked I know I added too much salt arrrgh. He won’t eat it and I didn’t understand why. So much so that he joked that salty beans is my signature. So I got digging and this is what I found…..
Salt (table salt) is a crystalline mineral that is composed primarily of Sodim chloride. Salt is one of the oldest, most ubiquitous food seasonings and salting is an important method of food preservation.
Salt for human consumption is produced in different forms – Unrefined salt (such as sea salt), refined salt(table salt) and iodized salt.
Table salt- in many cuisines around the world, salt is used in cooking. Table salt is refined salt, which contains about 97% to 99% Sodium chloride. It usually contains additives which address a variety of health concerns, especially in the developing world. The identities and amount of additives vary widely from country to country. In Nigeria here we have iodized salts.
Benefits of taking salt
Chlorine and Sodium ions, the two major components of salt, are needed by all living creatures in small quantity.
* Salt is used in regulating the water content (fluid balance) of the body. The sodium ion itself is used for electrical signaling in the nervous system
* Salt is a great preservative that preserves blood cells and blood vessels.
* Salt also provides Chlorine, which helps produce acids necessary to digest protein and enzymes for carbohydrate digestion, and is necessary for proper brain functioning and growth.
* Salt contains Magnesium, which is important for producing enzymes, nerve transmission, bone formation, resistance to heart diseases and it also contains many other trace minerals.
Health effect of eating too little salt
* Muscle cramp which is due to the fact that our body is drawing Sodium out of our your muscles, which can be very painful.
* Dizziness can occur when sodium level is drastically low in the body.
* Unexplained fatigue- low sodium levels in the body which causes you to have very low energy levels due to the sodium deficiency.
* Breathing difficulties- when Sodium levels reach their extreme, either extremely high or extremely low levels can create difficulties in breathing.
* Death – in extreme cases Death can occur.
Funny enough we don’t have low levels of Salt intake (well not that I know of) but we are dealing with high levels of Salt intake and how to curb it. I just had to chip in the benefits of salt so that we don’t avoid salt totally.
Health hazards of taking too much salts.
This is a global problem and research has shown that too much salt can push blood pressure up, increasing the risk of circulatory diseases such as heart diseases and stroke. This is the major health hazard of taking too much salt.
-Higher intake of Salt, sodium or salty foods is linked to an increase in stomach cancer. Research shows that salt as well as salty foods are a “probable cause of stomach cancer”.
-The more salt you take, the more Calcium your body flushes out in your urine.
– The morethe content of sodium ion in the body the more water is retained in the body and this puts pressure on the kidneys, Arteries, heart and brain. Which could ultimately lead to kidney failure.
– It might lead to Angina (sharp pains in the chest when being active).
After reading about the hazards of taking too much salt, I promise to cut back on the salt but how do I do it.
A very modest decrease in the amount of salt can have dramatic health benefit.
– Dr Kristen Bibbing-Domingo, U.Cal- SF
# Most of our salt comes from prepared foods, like ready made breads & cracker, canned & frozen foods, ready to eat breakfast cereals, cheese and restaurant foods. Unbelievable isn’t it but that’s the truth especially those packaged potato chip with the name Sp****le *to much salt*.
# Just reduce the amount of salt used when cooking. Try to make use of natural spices like Ginger and Garlic. Your tongue would grow accustomed to eating less salts and you would be better off.
*If you eat nothing but processed foods and naturally raised beef, chicken, eggs and milk; that you prepare yourself with a light hand on the salt shaker, you are taking in far more potassium than sodium. And potassium is more useful and healthy compared to sodium.
Finally the recommended salt intake is 300 milligrams about 1 teaspoon of salt per day. Rinse, wash and dilute processed foods before consumption.