Sodium (Na) and Salt, critical to life and health.


Sodium exists in the body as the ion Na+. The amount of Na+ in the body is critical to life and health. Sodium controls the distribution of fluids in the body, maintaining blood pressure and blood volume, creating an electrical gradient that allows nerve transmission and muscle contraction to occur. Most people get sodium via salt which contains 40% sodium.


Your body needs about 500mg of sodium per day. It would be very difficult to overdose on salt from natural food sources. Raw foods high in sodium are celery (80mg/100g), carrot (69mg/100g) and turmeric (38mg/100g). To overdose on sodium you would have to eat about 50 sticks of celery per day. However it is very easy to overdose on sodium if you eat salty processed foods. Too much sodium in your diet is bad for your health. A small packet (25g) of crisps contains about 150mg of sodium. A 400g tin of beans in tomato sauce will contain about 800mg of sodium.