Sodium does many important functions in our body. We need sodium only in small amounts. We do not need to add 1 or 2 table spoons of salt in our diet because most foods contain sodium in considerable amount.
We need sodium for the functioning of nerves.
Sodium plays an important role in the transmission of signal along the nerves. Positively charged sodium ions are transported across the cell membrane of the nerves to generate an action potential. When stimulated, this electrical charge is transmitted through the nerves. This propagation is the nerve signal to and from the brain.
Sodium is needed for muscle contraction.
Our muscles need sodium ions for contraction and relaxation. Muscle fibers are innervated by motor nerves. When a signal comes from the brain or the spinal cord through nerve, gates in the muscle are opened and sodium ions enter into the muscle cells. This makes the muscles to contract. Does it sound complected? Do not worry about the theory behind it. Just know the fact that we need sodium for muscle contraction.
Sodium maintains blood pressure.
A certain amount of pressure is needed within the circulatory system to pump the blood throughout the body. We called it as blood pressure. Sodium plays an important role in maintaining the blood pressure. It should be noted that too much sodium will bring in high blood pressure, and it is harmful. So, cut your sodium intake.
Does sodium do anything else for the body?
Yes, it does several other functions such as...
- Maintaining the acid base balance of the body.
- Regulating the water balance in the body.
- Helps in electrolyte equilibrium.
- It helps absorb some nutrients.
- It gives taste to foods.
- It is a component of body fluids.
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