Why Excess Salt Can Cause Hypertension?

excess salt can cause hypertensionMany people knew that eating too much of salty foods could increase blood pressure levels and lead to hypertension. But did you know that why excess salt can cause hypertension?

Sodium in salt is actually helps in maintaining blood pressure, muscle contraction, nerve cells transmission, and maintaining water balance, acids and alkalis in the body.

However, salt intake should not be more than 6 grams (1 teaspoon) a day or up to 2300 mg of sodium a day. High salt content in the body can cause difficulties to kidney by narrowing the renal artery, thus restricting the blood flow. As a result, the kidneys release a hormone called renin and angiotensin, which increases pressure to peripheral blood vessels, and lead to hypertension.

In addition to excess salt intake, other risk factors for hypertension include age, family history of hypertension, overweight, less physical active, smoking, stress and drinking alcohol. However just by reducing the consumption of salt alone can greatly reduce your risk of hypertension.

Here are some ways to reduce the salt intake:

  1. Eat more fresh product and less processed food.
  2. Limit the use of salt in your diet by replacing it with certain spices that can enrich flavor, or use salt substitute seasoning.
  3. Choose low-salt food products.
  4. Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  5. When you have to eat processed products, read the labels carefully.

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