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Sodium (Na)

Sodium is one mineral you don't need to worry about getting enough of. The typical modern diet has more than enough in the form of sodium chloride - otherwise known a table salt - found in processed foods, cured meats, canned vegetables, salty snacks and condiments. There's no need to keep a salt shaker on the dinner table as there is probably more than enough sodium in your meal without an extra sprinkle.

Natural Food Sources
Bacon, bread, butter, clams, green beans, ham, milk, olives, pickles, processed foods, table salt.

Main Functions
Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a crucial role in maintaining blood pressure. Along with potassium and chloride, it regulates fluids and acid-base balance in the body. It is also involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction, including the heartbeat.

Deficiency Symptoms
Sodium excess is a more likely scenario, but profound sweating, fever, diarrhea, fasting and very low-salt diets can result in symptoms like muscle twitching, dehydration, memory loss, nausea, poor concentration and loss of appetite. In rare cases, sodium deficiency can lead to shock due to decreased blood pressure.

Toxicity Symptoms
High sodium diets, common in modern society, may lead to water retention and hypertension.

 
 

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