Sodium

Sodium is a mineral that can be found almost everywhere (e.g. oceans, soil). Sodium is also naturally present in food. We obtain most of the sodium from table salt (sodium chloride). Table salt is comprised mainly of 60% sodium and 40% chloride. Table salt adds flavor to food and can also be used as a preservative, binder, and stabilizer. Iodized salt (salt added with iodine) is also widely used to help prevent iodine deficiency.

Health Functions
Sodium is one of the ions required for the normal functions of the body. Sodium is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses (nervous system), muscle contraction (muscular system), and function of the heart (cardiovascular/circulatory system). Sodium is also necessary for nutrient transport and for the regulation of fluids and blood pressure.

Disease Risk Reduction
Moderate and sufficient intake of sodium reduces the risk for hypertension, stroke, and heart attack.

Groups at Risk
People who are at risk for sodium deficiency include those with kidney, liver, and heart disease; the elderly, and people who take medications such as diuretics, antidepressants, and painkillers. Sodium deficiency symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches, and seizures, among others. Excess intake of sodium is also detrimental to health; it can cause hypertension (high blood pressure), heart attack, and stroke.

Intake Recommendations
No recommended daily allowance (RDA) has been established for sodium (or salt). However, controlled trials showed that the upper limit for salt is 2,300 milligrams per day (according to the American Heart Association). The lower limit is in the range of 500-900 milligrams of salt. Processed food contains more sodium than unprocessed food. Consuming unprocessed food daily will limit your sodium intake to only up to 1,200 milligrams. Since sodium is present in any food type, it is best to follow a balanced diet to prevent deficiencies or excess intake of sodium.

7D VARIETY Recommendations
Energy Dates contain low amounts of sodium. 7D VARIETY recommends you to consume Energy Dates because it is an excellent, heart-healthy food; it is low in cholesterol, fat, and sodium. A high intake of sodium can cause hypertension and will put you at risk for heart disease.