Tag Archives: sodium

Potassium, Magnesium and Sodium are very important in your body!

26 Mar

How much Potassium should I have? What are the sources and how it works in my body? These are frequent questions during our classes. People also ask the same questions about Sodium and Magnesium. Here is quick information about each of these minerals:

Magnesium is found in more than 300 enzymes in your body. Enzymes are body chemicals that help regulate many bodily functions, including the production of energy, body protein and muscle contractions. It also plays a role imagesCAOU0B9Lin maintaining healthy bones and a healthy heart.

Magnesium is a major mineral, meaning it exists in your body in significant amounts. The average person needs to consume between 300 and 400 milligrams of magnesium a day.

Foods rich in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. Fresh fruits and vegetables also provide a modest amount of magnesium.

Potassium is a mineral that the body needs to work normally. It helps the nerves and muscles communicate. It alsoimagesCA2CY92X helps move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells. A diet rich in potassium helps to offset some of sodium’s harmful effects on blood pressure. Each day a person should eat 4.7 grams of the nutrient.

Most people get all the potassium they need from what they eat and drink. Sources of potassium in the diet include: Leafy greens, such as spinach and collards; fruit from vines, such as grapes and blackberries; root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes and citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit.

Sodium is used in your body to control blood pressure and blood volume. Your body also needs sodium for your muscles and nerves to work properly.

Sodium occurs naturally in most foods. The most common form of sodium is sodium chloride, which is table salt. Milk, beets, and celery also naturally contain sodium. Drinking water, also contains sodium, but the amount depends on the source. imagesCAYTYCU2

Healthy adults should limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. Adults with high blood pressure should have no more than 1,500 mg per day. Those with congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and kidney disease may need much lower amounts.

These minerals are important for body functions. Just remember to consume 5 to 7 servings of vegetables and fruits every day, whole grains, and nuts to obtain the dairy intake of these minerals!

Sodium Reduction

11 Jan

I know that thereimages[2] are several good reasons to reduce the amount of sodium I consume, including protection from high blood pressure, reducing headaches and occasional dizziness, and avoiding the bloated feeling that comes from fluid retention. Still, when I learned that the recommended maximum consumption per day per person is 2,300 milligrams, and then found out that the average daily intake per person of sodium in the U.S. is nearly 5,000 milligrams per day, I was amazed!

Where does all this sodium come from? It turns out it’s not all from the salt shaker at the dinner table.  About a quarter of the sodium we consume comes from sprinkling salt on food, from condiments such as ketchup, and from natural sources. The majority of our sodium consumption, however, comes from processed foods. The list of significant sodium sources includes fast foods, canned and frozen vegetables, canned and dried soups, frozen convenience foods, canned tuna, cured meats such as bacon and ham, and chips and other salty snacks. Sodium is even found in ready-to-eat breakfast cereals—it turns out that we may be consuming sodium without even tasting its presence!

Many of the foods on that list are a part of my every day diet—and probably part of yours, too. In 2014, I’m going to reimagesCAL4QSDGduce the amount of sodium I consume. I will eat more fresh and unprocessed food, start making my own soups, and commit to eating more veggies.

Yes, I know this means I’ll be spending a little more time in the kitchen, but considering the health benefits for myself and my family, I think it’s worth it. I’m also going to break the habit of adding salt to my food at the dinner table. To make sure that food still tastes delicious, I plan to use more herb seasoning and other salt substitutes–that way I won’t miss the salt shaker so much. At the grocery store, I’m going to take the time to read the nutrition labels, looking out for foods that contain less than 500mg per serving and trying out low sodium alternatives to the products I usually buy.

By the end of this year, I expect that I will have very much reduced my daily consumption of sodium, and helped my family to do so, too. It might be a little difficult at first, but I know that we’ll all feel a little better for it!