Salt is a dietary mineral that is mainly composed mainly of sodium chloride. The two ions, sodium and chloride are essential for our healthy well-being. Salt flavor is indeed one of the basic tastes and we find it hard to enjoy food without salt. Salt is also widely used as an important preservative.
Salt that is used for human consumption comes in three different forms, namely, unrefined salt (such as sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodized salt. Salt craving is considered as characteristic symptom of mineral deficiency. However, increased intake of sodium chloride is not beneficial to health. Over consumption of salt makes us more prone to health disorders such as high blood pressure.
Salt plays a major role in regulating the water content of the body by effectively maintaining the fluid balance. Apart from sodium, minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium are also present in unrefined salt. Too much or too low consumption of salt on a regular basis is found to lead to muscle cramps and fatigue. If not taken seriously, fatal irregularities such as neurological imbalances are also likely.
Drinking too much of water without sufficient salt intake, might lead to water intoxication termed as hyponatremia. Salt is also employed as a health aid in the treatment of dysautonomia. However, the consequence of diminished salt intake varies on the basis of biochemical individuality.
It is found that excess salt consumption is linked with health disorders such as exercise-induced asthma and heartburn. High salt also reduces bone density and thereby leads to osteoporosis.
Studies in this regard also indicate that gastric cancer is also associated with high levels of sodium. It is highly advisable that people with increased blood sugar level minimize their intake of salt. On the contrary, a drastic decrease in the salt intake leads to irregularities such as edema (fluid retention). Duodenal and gastric ulcers are other possible disorders that are caused by decreased salt intake.