Grains of Life

Since the dawn of humanity, salt has been an indispensable part of civilization. Its uses ranged from seasoning to food preservation; salt was such a valuable commodity that it was used as currency to pay off labourers and soldiers. Over time, mass production has transformed it into a mundane part of our daily recipe, used only to make our food tastier. However, many of us fail to comprehend that the human body requires a minimum amount of salt to function.

Salt plays a crucial role in maintaining human health. Salt is also the primary source of sodium and chloride ions in the human diet, which is vital for nerve and muscle functions. Sodium is also crucial for maintaining blood pressure and volume. Concurrently, Chloride ions serve as essential electrolytes by regulating blood pH and pressure. It is also a vital component in the production of stomach acid (HCl). Therefore, all human beings require some amount of salt to survive. A minimum amount of salt is necessary for survival, The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy adults consume 1500 mg of sodium, or 3.8 grams of salt, to replace the amount lost daily on average through sweat and urination.
Salt determines how much water will flow into or out of specific cells in animal bodies. Salt dissolved in fluids form electrolyte solutions that regulate the body’s hydration and muscle function. As a result, salt deficiency causes muscle cramps and overall fatigue.

Salt deficiency might lead to

Increase in insulin resistance: Sodium is a critical component of table salt. There is a high correlation between low sodium diet and increased insulin resistance, in the form of inadequate response to hormone insulin by the human body. It leads to higher blood sugar levels in the human body. Insulin resistance is grievous to the human body and induces severe disorders like Type 2 diabetics and heart disease.

Increased risk of hypothermia (low levels of sodium in the blood): Hypothermia is defined by low-level of sodium in the blood. Severe cases of hypothermia have been known to cause permanent brain injury, seizures and even coma.

Irregularity in Renin and Aldosterone system: The system is responsible for regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance and systemic vascular resistance. A drop-in sodium (table salt) intake may stimulate irregularity in the system. A significant increase in renin and aldosterone is a symptom of sodium insufficiency and has been shown to occur as salt intake drops below 1.5 teaspoons per day.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), a third of the world’s population has inadequate iodine intake. In Bangladesh, that number is high as sixty million (60,000,000) people, causing hypothyroidism, resulting in thyroid enlargement, mental retardation, increased neonatal and infant mortality, retardation of growth and development of the central nervous system in children (cretinism), reproductive failure, and an increase in the fluid in the tissues. The WHO report also states a total of 14.5-gram iodized table salt intake per person per day is mandatory to reduce iodine deficiency among Bangladeshis.
A balanced salt-based diet has numerous benefits

A vital nutrient: Sodium is a significant component of extracellular fluid and is essential for maintaining the volume of the plasma to allow adequate tissue perfusion and healthy cellular metabolism. The maintenance of extracellular fluid volume is an important physiologic function of the sodium in the body, particularly in regards to cardiovascular health.

Keeps the body Hydrated: To maintain the water quotient balanced in our body, it requires a delicate balance of electrolytes like potassium and sodium, which help to retain water. Sea salt contains both the ions, which helps to stay hydrated naturally.

Balances Electrolytes: Electrolytic imbalance in the body is extremely dangerous and can cause fatal consequences. Salt is an excellent source of electrolytes and also helps to prevent muscle cramping during exercise.
Supports healthier nervous system: Sodium regulates water flow throughout the body, essential for a healthy nervous system. Also, the water of the nervous system to send and receive nervous system signals.

Helps to Rehydrate: After heavy exercise, it is essential to consume salt as the body is sweating it out. For anyone who participates in high-intensity sports or competition, they take salt tablets for better rehydration.

Bangladesh consumes more than 1.5 million tons of salt every year. A large amount of it is impure. They contain harmful chemicals like sodium sulfate. Impure salt can have severe consequences, including damaging the kidney. They can also cause swelling of the body and nausea. Over the years, substandard and adulterated salt has been making into our diet through unregulated imports. Tarnished business entities import these salts through loopholes and inefficacy of our regulated systems. According to BSTI, an analysis of the impure and substandard salt revealed traces of excess sodium chloride (91.5%), 7.5% sodium, and 1% moisture; it can cause serious health consequences.

Noticeably, one of the most popular brands, Fresh Premium Super Salt, was cleared by BSTI and passed all the benchmarks of standard and quality. Fresh Super Premium Salt is produced by using the combination of Switzerland’s World Latest Technology and Vacuum Evaporation System which can remove all impurities and ensures a natural balance of all minerals like Sodium Chloride, Iodine, Calcium, and Magnesium. As a result, it helps to create balanced electrolytes, activate nerve function, and carries the nutrients to reach every cell within our body. Its balanced Iodine also helps to promote brain development and improve the immune system. Currently, Fresh Super Premium is the most reliable salt available in the market.

Asif Siddique Tarafdar is the Staff Writer of Ice Today& Ice Business Times. He has completed BSS in Economics from BRAC University and vocal about disability rights and inclusion. Currently, studying MDS at Jahangirnagar University he is also a former Flight Cadet of the Bangladesh Air Force.