Sodium is both a mineral and an electrolyte. It helps keep the water and electrolyte balance of the body.
Sodium is a mineral that's found in little amounts in natural foods, although processed foods contain it in big amounts to enhance flavor. It is a major ion that works with bicarbonate and chloride to keep the balance of negative and positive ions in the body's tissues and fluids. The most common source of sodium is table salt.
The addition of sodium to one's diet aids in the regulation of fluids outside of the body's cells. Sodium is required for the pumping of fluids into the cells of the body. Sodium aids fluid flow through permeable membranes to locations with high salt content.
Excess sodium intake can lead to elevated blood pressure and an increase in blood volume. As a result, specialists believe that people should always strive for a diet that is low in sodium. In people with congestive heart failure, kidney illness, or liver cirrhosis, consuming large amounts of sodium can lead to dangerous fluid build-up.
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