Is sodium a vitamin?

Have you ever wondered, in the midst of all this talk about vitamins and minerals, whether sodium is one of them? Well, look no further because we are here to answer that question in all its glory!

Introduction:

Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na (from Latin “natrium”) and atomic number 11. It’s a metal which reacts violently when it comes into contact with water! But enough of the science lesson; let’s dive straight into what really matters – could sodium be your next daily vitamin supplement?

What Are Vitamins?

Before we delve into sodium, let’s understand what vitamins are first!
Vitamins are organic molecules that play an essential role in our body functions. They aid metabolism and help keep our bodies healthy. The human body requires at least 13 different vitamins to function properly.

So Why isn’t Sodium Considered as One Of Them?

Good Question! While sodium is important for maintaining fluid balance in our bodies along with nerve function and muscle performance, it’s not actually classified as being ‘vitamin’. That may come as somewhat unfortunate news to lovers of salty snacks!

Definition of A Vitamin:

A substance needed by the body for growth, energy production or general well-being but not produced by itself.

We can produce some nutrients within ourselves while others need dietary supplements via food or other sources.

Classification Criteria For Vitamins

  1. Essentiality
  2. Lack Of Biosynthesis
  3. Vitality
  4. Function

And sorry sodium fans; #2 on this list states definitively that being able to produce something in our bodies nullifies it from vitamin classification!

Can We Have Too Much Of This Non-Vitamin?

As they say “too much of anything can be dangerous”. Same applies here folks! Consuming too much, sodium, although necessary for normal bodily functions can cause hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure resulting in a plethora of health issues.

So Why Does Sodium Get Such A Bad Reputation?

While sodium has its uses for sure and can be found in trace amounts in vegetables and fruits, we all know where the majority are found – Fast

Foods! Hot chips with salt, pizza, salty crisps – basically everything on a junk food menu is usually high in sodium levels. This kind of diet becomes problematic because not only do these foods contain an excessive amount of calories causing weight gain, they also add to our daily limit for ‘sodium’ without us even realizing it!. It’s recommended by nutritionists that adults maintain ‘less than 2.3 grams’ per day or less; about 4690gr (¼ cup) of table salt!

Nutrient Comparisons:

Let’s look at how much more sodium can be compared to other essential nutrients!

Nutrient Daily Recommended Amount
Sodium Less than 2.3g
Calcium 1-1.3 g
Magnesium 310–420 mg
Potassium 4700mg

Now you tell me – still think drinking down huge mountains / tables filled with processed fast foods doesn’t affect your body?

Conclusion:

In conclusion, while you might have been hoping that reading this article would end up with consuming salty snacks under the guise of being healthy because :-‘I am taking my vitamins!’ That isn’t the case here folks! With higher rates of obesity and lifestyle diseases hitting countries worldwide today, obtaining proper knowledge regarding our dietary choices become imperative for maintaining good health.
We need to concentrate on reducing/eliminating these kinds of foods from our everyday diets or shift towards healthier alternatives like veggies or unsalted nuts instead.

Remember: too much salt affects your heart health drastically so consult with your nutritional expert before going overboard with salt intake.

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