Salt often gets a bad rap and we are told over and over to avoid eating it. However, without salt our bodies would not be able to function properly and well, we would eventually die. Sodium is necessary for the prevention of dehydration, the normal function of cells, and the normal transmission of nerve impulses but how to rid the body of excess salt is something we should examine.
That being said, almost every human being on the planet is not at risk of dying because of a lack of salt in their diet. In actuality, we all tend to consume more salt than we really should. It makes so many things taste better and over time, our tolerance becomes greater and we crave more and more.
Removing excess salt from the body is essential if you want to become healthy. Too much salt can result in health issues like bloating and fluid retention, osteoporosis and even high blood pressure that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
#1. Drink Plenty of Water
If you have excess salt in your body, you’ll most likely find that you are thirsty a large amount of the time. One of the best ways to remove this salt is to drink plenty of water. This will cause you to flush it out through urination or perspiration.
Optimally, you should be looking at drinking 8 glasses of water per day. Of course, this will also vary depending on your size as well as activity level and even the temperature of your surrounding level. For example, if you are exercising on a hot summer day, you may begin to experience signs of dehydration like dizziness and headaches. Therefore, you will need to drink more water.
#2. Eat Foods High in Protein & Potassium
A great way to reduce too much salt in your system is to incorporate foods that are high in protein. Try to eat foods like chicken, Greek yogurt, and beans.
As an additional bonus, many foods that are high in protein are also high in potassium that assists even further to regulate sodium levels. It can also help to reduce some of the bloating you may be experiencing. Try eating foods like spinach, salmon, or sweet potato as a way to rid the body of excess salt.
#3. Reduce Your Salt Intake
If you don’t add as much salt, you take in less salt. Duh. This isn’t rocket science. When you are cooking, be conscious of the amount of salt you adding and just because you aren’t using the physical salt shaker, doesn’t mean you aren’t adding salt.
For instance, many premade seasonings contain a tremendous amount of sodium as does things like soup bases, bouillon cubes, soya sauce, and canned goods. Always opt for low sodium versions. Or better yet – try different fresh herbs like mint, oregano, basil or cilantro to add flavour to your dishes.
I find that a little bit of lime or lemon juice works wonders to brighten up a meal. It is a matter of training your taste buds to grow accustomed to less salt.
#4. Drink Less Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are often necessary when you are exercising to replace the electrolytes lost that cannot be replaced by drinking water alone. They also contain sugar that can provide additional energy while working out. However, in addition to electrolytes and sugar, sports drinks also contain a fair amount of sodium.
Therefore, if you are not exerting yourself physically, it is not necessary to be drinking them. Choose plain old water as a means of hydration as it obviously contains less salt but also no sugar. So if you are concerned about foods that may be harmful to your teeth or if you are attempting to manage your diabetes, avoiding sports drinks is a good choice.
#5. Exercise Enough to Perspire
When you exert enough energy to perspire, it is your body’s way of cooling itself down and prevent overheating. It is removing toxins, including the excessive salt build-up, from your system.
Not only is exercise a great strategy to reduce the amount of salt in your body, but it is also a great way to help maintain your weight, get a night of better sleep and help to alleviate some of the harmful effects of sitting too long.
The point here is to exercise enough to actually sweat and that could be different from person to person. Know your body and push yourself without hurting yourself. Try to work up a bit sweaty and as you continue to work at it, you will get better.
#6. Don’t Over-Hydrate
Yes, I know I just told you to drink more water and now I am saying not to drink too much. It is true – it does sound contradictory. Like with virtually everything on this planet, too much of anything is not always a good thing either. Drinking too much water can cause issues too.
If you over hydrate yourself, you can do more harm than just having to constantly use the washroom. You can actually deplete too much of your sodium levels, experience kidney failure, put too much pressure on your heart, irritate your stomach, and even have what is referred to as water poisoning.
#7. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are essentially your biggest enemy when it comes to figuring out how to rid the body of excess salt. Foods like sandwich meats, chicken nuggets, french fries, and microwavable meals are laden with salt to preserve them. Sure, they are often tasty and very convenient but not worth it if you were to examine the detrimental effects they have on your health.
It is possible to cook unprocessed foods where you can limit and even control the amount of salt added. If you are at a loss for ideas, buy a rotisserie chicken and read all about some easy chicken dinner ideas.
Your body operates efficiently if it is treated properly and well taken care of. Keeping your sodium (or salt) levels at a healthy level is a critical component of doing just that.
Our diet is the major contributor to the amount of salt we find in our system.
Do some research. Read some labels. Be conscious about what you are putting in your body if you are truly serious about learning how to rid the body of excess salt. No one else is going to do it for you. Rise up and be better!