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Sodium – Indispensable for Life – Properties, Sources, Deficiency Symptoms, Healing Properties

Sodium is a mineral that is present only in small quantities in most natural foods, but salt is added, often in large amounts, in food processing and by cooks to enhance flavor. Sodium is an essential mineral or micronutrient found in the bones as well as the fluid surrounding cells.

PHYSICAL & CHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF SODIUM
– Sodium is silver white in color.
– Sodium is highly reactive.
– Sodium is alkaline in nature.
– Sodium is soft and malleable.
– Sodium is found inside the body and outside in the combination with other elements.
– Sodium is usually taken in the form of sodium chloride.
– Sodium is absorbed from gastro-intestinal tract but substantial losses may occur due to vomiting and diarrhea.
– Sodium balance is controlled by hormone aldosterone which is secreted by adrenal gland.
– Increased amounts of aldosterone are secreted when the need for sodium increases which increases the re-absorption of sodium ions by kidney.

HOW DOES SODIUM FUNCTION IN BODY ?

– Sodium acts with other electrolytes especially potassium to regulate the osmotic pressure and maintain proper water balance.
– Sodium is vital component of nerves as it stimulates muscle contraction.
– Heart contraction is maintained.
– It helps in glucose absorption.
– It helps in transportation of other nutrients across cell membranes.
– It relaxes muscles.
– Important in the distribution of water in the body.
– It helps in maintenance of fluid volume in the vessels and tissues.
– Sodium helps in brain functioning.
– Sodium is an important hydrating product of anti-aging creams.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS

Deficiency of sodium is caused by:
– excessive sweating.
– prolonged use of diuretics or chronic diarrhea.
Deficiency of sodium may lead to:
– nausea.
– muscular weakness.
– heat exhaustion.
– mental apathy.
– low blood pressure.
– muscle cramps.
– dizziness.
– weakness.
– lethargy.
Overdose of sodium causes high blood pressure, swelling of brain nerves and cerebral edema. If it worsens, it can even lead to comma.

SOURCES OF SODIUM

Some of the important sources of sodium are apple, common salt, homemade soups, cabbage, egg yolks, pulses, bananas. Even, carrot, baking powder and baking soda, turnips, leafy vegetables and dried peas are some of the essential sources. Processed cheese, smoked fish and salty meats, snacks, pickles and sauce contains ample amount of sodium.

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