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Why is salt important?

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Quick Answer

Salt is important because it contains nutrients that preserve stomach health, and it maintains water retention and muscle contractions. Salt is healthy when it is consumed in moderation.

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Full Answer

Salt is one component that sends electrical signals throughout the body. Sodium also causes the body to become thirsty by activating electrolytes. The electrolytes make the body thirsty, forcing a person to consume more water. The water then allows the kidneys to distribute a healthy amount of electrolytes throughout the bloodstream, and this action regulates blood pressure. Sodium traps calcium and other nutrients in the bloodstream. Salt intake prevents heat-related complications, such as stroke and heat prostration.

Sodium stops the muscles from cramping, and it invigorates the nerves. This is crucial for proper muscle contractions, and it benefits the adrenal glands.

Salt assists the digestive system, including the absorption of nutrients. Sodium also assists the body in digesting and breaking down food. It is an important element that lines the stomach with digestive secretions and prevents the body from consuming itself. Salt helps the saliva glands by stimulating an enzyme known as salivary amylase, which allows the taste buds to get a sense of the food being consumed. A lack of sodium in the body can lead to such complications as dehydration, shock and heavy perspiration.

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