Wellness Tuesday: What is sodium?

I often have issues with my feet swelling.  This is especially true when I’ve had too much sodium.

Sodium is found in most foods

Sodium is found in most foods

Often, when I look at the nutrition facts on food packaging I am surprised by the amount of sodium in the dish.

We have tried explaining to my grandmother why she has to limit some foods.  Her response when we mention sodium is “I didn’t add salt to it.”

I have to admit that I’ve had the same response at times myself.

So, what is sodium?

When I researched the definition it said, “the chemical element of atomic number 11, a soft silver white reactive metal of the alk ali metal group.”   In essence, that didn’t tell me anything.

According to GBHealthWatch.com, Sodium “is an essential mineral for the human body.”   Sodium is used to add flavor to foods.

My FoodDiary.com says, “Sodium is needed for muscle contractions, nerve transmissions, maintaining pH balance, and hydration.  Sodium regulates the fluid outside of the cells and is needed to pump fluid into the cells as potassium carries by-products out.”

Do you know what sodium is?  Do you eat too much of it?