Sodium : Essential Organic Sodium Rich Foods

Sodium is consumed by the human body in form of sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is the chemical name for common salt. Sodium is a highly reactive, metallic and alkaline element. It is very essential for life, as it is present in the extra-cellular fluids in the body. This essential mineral is also found in bones and fluids around the cell. It is commonly found in saliva and enzymes. Sodium or ‘Na‘ is the predominant cation in the extra cellular fluid. It works along with potassium, which is another important cation present in the intracellular fluids.

Sodium contains naturally in many foods and is also added in the form of salt or other sodium-containing substances. It is an element that is soft and silvery white in appearance. Usually found inside as well as outside the body, in combination with other elements, it is consumed in the form of sodium chloride.

Sodium is highly reactive, alkaline, metallic and malleable in nature and is essential for regulation of blood and body fluids. Aside from that, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity, and certain metabolic functions in the human body also require the presence of this particular element. Plants are the only living beings that do not require sodium for their survival.

Benefits of Sodium

  •  Sodium helps in maintenance of water balance of the body. It helps in pumping water in the cells and regulating the excess cellular fluid in the body.
  •  Sunstroke or heat exhaustion can be addressed, by consuming food rich in sodium, as they immediately replace the loss of essential electrolytes such as salt and water.
  • Right intake of sodium enhances brain activity and keeps the mind sharp. Remember, human brain is extremely sensitive to changing sodium levels in the body.
  • Muscle cramps can be avoided by taking foods rich in sodium. Usually in hot season or summer, due to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, while water keeps the body hydrated, sodium restores the amount of electrolyte loss.
  •  For glossy and healthy skin, sodium will help you keep the skin youthful and glowing, which is why it is an important hydrating product of almost all anti-aging creams.
  • Sodium helps in the absorption of glucose by cells for smooth transportation of nutrients in body cell membranes.
  • Sodium plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy functioning of the heart. Apart from upholding the contraction of the heart, it also maintains the blood pressure levels of the human body.
  • Excess of carbon dioxide in the body is not beneficial for healthy living. Sodium helps in removing excess amount of toxic carbon dioxide accumulated in the body.
  • Another important benefit of sodium is that it balances the osmotic pressure in the human body, by regulating the fluid in body cells.
  • Sodium helps in balancing positively charged and negatively charged ions, as it shares an association with chlorides and bicarbonates, which help in maintaining a sound balance between the two types.
  • Health Concern: Sodium is one substance most people get too much of. While it is possible to be deficient in sodium, such deficiencies are incredibly rare, and for most people the problem is too much sodium.
  • The most serious and well-documented effects of excess sodium in the diet are high blood pressure and heart disease. Anyone who is prone to heart disease or high blood pressure should use caution when eating sodium rich foods.
  • Sodium deficiency is quite rare, due to the high levels of sodium in the modern diet. However, symptoms of a sodium deficient diet can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, and muscle weakness.

List of Sodium Rich Foods

Amaranth

Amaranth leaves

Artichoke

Beet Greens

Beets

Broccoli

Black-eyed beans

Bok Choy

Brussels Sprouts

Celeriac

Celery

Chick peas

Coconut

Fennel

Garbanzo beans

Kale

Kelp / Sea vegetables

Legumes

Olives

passion-fruit

Pulses

Pumpkin Seeds

Quinoa

Sauerkraut

Spaghetti squash

Spelt

Spirulina

Sweet Potatoes

Spinach

Swiss Chard

Wakam

Winged Beans

Sodium occurs naturally in almost all fresh, whole fruits,  all fresh, whole vegetables, seeds, nuts , grains and legumes but those about have the highest amount

TV Dinner with turkey and stuffing

Health Concern: Sodium is one substance most people get too much of. While it is possible to be deficient in sodium, such deficiencies are incredibly rare, and for most people the problem is too much sodium.

The most serious and well-documented effects of excess sodium in the diet are high blood pressure and heart disease. Anyone who is prone to heart disease or high blood pressure should use caution when eating sodium rich foods.

Sauce packets on a Chinese menu

Foodstuffs that contain baking soda or baking powder as an active ingredient (sodium containing compounds) also are categorized under foods high in sodium content. Canned and frozen meats such as chicken, ham, tuna or salmon are not a good for those wanting to restrict their sodium intake. Canned meats, are highly processed. As a result, these foods tend to be high in sodium content. A sodium containing solution is often injected into canned foods to enhance taste. Even processed cheese, salty meats, snacks and smoked fish also come in the list of foods high in sodium. Snacks such as peanuts and popcorn are considered to be a rich source of sodium. Dried foods such as pastas and macaroni have high levels of sodium. Grain based foods such as biscuits and crackers also belong to the group of foods high in sodium. Eating of breads, breakfast cereals and pastries can also contribute to a high sodium intake.

Uncooked ramen noodles and flavor packets

Sodium deficiency is quite rare, due to the high levels of sodium in the modern diet. However, symptoms of a sodium deficient diet can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, and muscle weakness.

Treatment of Sodium Deficiency
Sodium deficiency treatment includes intravenous saline, water restriction and administration of diuretics. The person suffering from sodium deficiency is monitored, as rapid stabilization may lead to heart failure. Sodium deficiency is commonly seen in marathon runners or distance athletes. As they keep drinking water while running, their body level of fluids increase leading to dilution of sodium. This condition is also called water intoxication. Thus, they are advised to drink sports drinks, sports gels or other electrolyte replacement supplements.

Fruits and Vegetables That Are Low in Sodium

Daily Requirement of Sodium
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the estimated minimum requirement of sodium for healthy persons ranges from 120mg/day for infants to 500 mg/day for adults and children over the age of 10 years. Sodium deficiency is very rare and the minimum intake of sodium chloride or NaCl is 5-10 grams. An average person consumes 8-10 grams of NaCl or even more.

Therefore, sodium deficiency is a rare disease that affects a person in extreme cases or conditions only. One should follow a healthy diet and consume healthy foods and healthy drinks to avoid any form of deficiency related illnesses.

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6 thoughts on “Sodium : Essential Organic Sodium Rich Foods

  1. 1st of all, great article, with a nice list of sodium rich vegetables.

    Unfortunately you are mixing up 2 concepts here: most people are deficient in organic sodium, because people eat the wrong foods today.

    Sodium chloride, ie table salt, is what causes high blood pressure, because it’s a toxic substance. Most people get far too much of that, but not enough organic sodium.

    Put differently, you wouldn’t get high blood pressure from too much beetroot juice, but you will from too much table salt in your diet.

    For more info on that, read Dr Richard Anderson’s “Cleanse & Purify Thyself”. Excellent book that explains all the ramifications of that problem.

    Most people don’t have enough electrolytes in their body, so they get digestive problems and can digest even the good stuff they eat,

    With love,

    Evgania Mehler

  2. My mom is suffering from electrolyte imbalanced. She is a patient of diabetics and high blood pressure. She does not have gallbladder, so trouble to digest fat. She also has slight heart problem. Its really hard to maintain her diet. Recently she is suffering from lacking of sodium. Please advise.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! We are a group of raw foodists and vegans that believe in natural healing and alternative living and healthy choices.The information contained in our article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor or naturopathic physician for advice. Food is an important part of health but we must be clear that it is only a part. A holistic approach to health is required, taking other factors such as water, air, exercise, emotions, and mental state into consideration. What we eat significantly affects our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being. We all have different body types, ethnic backgrounds, medical histories, stress levels, caloric needs and physiological responses to food; therefore, no one philosophy is right for everyone. Dr. Policano is a leading naturopathic physician with a special focus on women’s health with over 15 years of experience using raw foods and superfoods to treat a wide variety of conditions. Having worked with health afflictions ranging from fatigue to breast cancer, she has crafted a definitive list of foods to emphasize in your diet for hormonal health, vibrant skin and healthy heart and bones. She be contacted at http://www.doctorariel.com/contact/

      P.S. We send your love one light, love and healing energy at this time.

      Bliss<3

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