Yesterday we talked about sodium intake (which is salt) and we discussed how it is that the body only requires 500mg of sodium per day but the truth is dieticians suggest eating less than 2300mg per day. The trouble is people regularly exceed that.
Hyponatremia is low sodium in the blood, it can actually be caused by drinking too much water.
Hypernatremia is when a person has too much salt in the blood which can lead to high blood pressure and edema, my mom actually had a problem at one point with eating too much salt. She started to suffer from tinnitus and she could actually feel her inner ears swell.
There is another important electrolyte which is potassium, sodium and potassium work together to normalize blood pressure. Higher potassium intake helps to lower blood pressure; so sodium and potassium actually work together. The daily intake requirements for potassium is 4700mg.
Sources of potassium include sweet potato, plain non fat yogurt, yellow fin tuna and cantaloupe. While sources of sodium include dill pickles, canned chicken soup, pretzels, and bread. The more sodium you consume the more potassium also needs to be consumed in order to create a balance of electrolytes in the body. The key is to increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and dairy in order to be able to balance your intake of sodium as well as potassium.
I notice when I have low potassium I get charlie horses in my leg or my feet. So once a month or so I will make sure to eat something that is fairly rich in potassium, of course if I forget I will be reminded when I am just going through my everyday life and all of a sudden I can feel a cramp coming on, never has anyone cursed themselves more for not eating a banana.
So for example, 1 cup of milk (1% or 2%) has 107mg of sodium and the same cup of milk has 366mg of potassium. The key is sodium and potassium go hand in hand in order to balance salt in the blood.
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