If I’m anything, it’s a salt addict. I love it, and before I learned about the effects of too much sodium, I would dump it on just about anything.
Hell, I would do a tequila shot just to lick the salt!
Annnnnd then I read about the effect my sodium intake was having on my skin and a dark cloud was firmly planted over my day. *pout*
But now that I’m a few months into my new low-sodium diet I am happy to help spread the word so that all my fellow salt-cravin’ skincare-lovin’ sistahs can make the switch towards better skin, and a healthier life.
So what are the effects of too much sodium? I asked the same thing myself…
The Harmful Effects Of Sodium
In fact, if we consume too much sodium in our daily diet our skin may start to dry out, crack, or even start to over-produce oil to make up for the dehydration our skin is experiencing.
On top of those not-so-hot side effects, our face can also become bloated and start to form bags under our eyes.
And for those of you who suffer from under-eye circles, like moi, you might notice those annoying circles getting even darker!
Now, I don’t know about you, but that was enough of a reason for me to calm down my salt intake.
And in case that wasn’t enough, sodium doesn’t just affect our skin. Oh no. It affects every part of us. *thumbs down*
If your regular diet consists of high quantities of salt, packaged foods, canned soups, and junk food then you could be putting yourself at risk for conditions such as: weight gain, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, asthma, kidney issues, stomach cancer, or even heart attacks and strokes!
Suddenly a low sodium diet doesn’t sound too shabby, does it?
Of course sodium isn’t all bad news, there are some benefits to having a little sodium in your diet.
The Benefits Of Sodium
While sodium usually gets a bad name (thanks to this post and many others I’m sure) it is actually an essential mineral we need to keep ourselves healthy.
Now I know that sounds bananas, especially because I just bashed the hell out of it, but your body actually relies on sodium (in low quantities) for everyday functions like nerve transmission, muscle function, pH regulation, nutrient absorption, and helps to regulate the body’s fluid levels.
And while it is a necessary element to have in our diets, we only really need about 1 teaspoon, I repeat, ONE teaspoon, of salt each day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
So how can one tone down the amount of salt in their diet so they can keep their skin, and body, healthy and in top-notch shape?
Finding alternatives for my salt habit was difficult at first as I found myself craaaaaving salt like there was no tomorrow. But eventually I discovered that by using different herbs, chilis, citrus juices, and ground pepper, I’ve been able to combat that nasty addiction.
Specifically, I find cooking with lots of garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, mint, lime juice, sriracha sauce, and even onions has helped me to curb my salt cravings and get my tastebuds used to not always relying on salt to like the taste of a dish. But as with anything food based, it’s up to you and your personal preferences.
So what do we think? Will you be swapping your salt intake for a low sodium lifestyle or are you not too concerned with the effects of too much sodium? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
*It should go without saying, but just in case, I’ll say it – you should always check with your doctor before making any drastic alterations to your diet, especially if you have any of the conditions listed above*