Sodium is a mineral in the human body and a vital for human metabolism. It is a crucial mineral for bodily functions, including control of fluid and electrolyte balances.
Sodium helps regulate the body's pH balance and fluid levels. It is essential for nerve and muscle function and helps to maintain normal blood pressure.
Sodium is necessary for optimal nerve and muscle activity helps to maintain a healthy acid-base balance, and helps the body absorb and retain calcium and magnesium.
Sodium works with potassium to enable nerve impulses and muscle contractions. It also helps to regulate blood pressure and heart rate.
Most of the body's sodium is in the blood, and the kidneys eliminate it.
The US Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day and, ideally, less than 1,500 milligrams per day.
Too much dietary sodium can be unhealthy and increase the risk of hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure.
The best sources of dietary sodium include table salt, processed foods, canned foods, sauces, seasonings, and condiments.
Unprocessed fresh foods and home-prepared meals without added salts generally contain much less sodium than processed foods.
Some natural sources of dietary sodium include fish, nuts, and shellfish.
Healthier food choices and avoiding processed foods can help reduce the amount of sodium consumed in the diet.