We’ve often hit on the negative impact excessive sugar can have on gut health, but your pantry is likely home to another equally potentially damaging culprit: salt.
That’s right – As Americans, our sodium intake is often through the roof compared to the rest of the world, and it could be a major contributor to imbalances in your gut microbiome! What does salt’s effect on gut health look like?
Too Much Salt for Our Own Good?
For centuries, mankind has found salt to be an essential component of bodily health. It provides our bodies with a means to maintain hydration, and is a key electrolyte that contributes to muscle strength, balancing blood pH levels, regulating blood pressure, and controlling cellular fluid balance.
But, as is true with many other situations, there can be too much of a good thing.
Salt used to be hard to find – an often highly-valued commodity. But as the world discovered more efficient ways to extract and distribute this cooking cornerstone, it became more widely available and used far more often. Somewhere along the way, the amount of salt used in our favorite foods became more than our bodies were able to handle.
America’s Sodium Problem
Between processed foods like mac ‘n cheese, fast foods, and our preservative-abundant grocery stores, it’s easy to see how America developed a bit of a sodium problem. When you consume foods high in salt, the first place all of that sodium goes is into your digestive system. Those high sodium levels will continue to build up and eventually be absorbed into your bloodstream. Over time, this excess can cause serious health problems.
Salt’s Effect On Gut Health
Salt also has a direct impact on the gut microbiome itself. Excess salt can cause inflammation, which makes digestion more difficult, and can even cut down on the numbers of Lactobacillus bacteria. This specific strain is closely linked to helping maintain the strength of our gut lining and protect against pathogenic microorganisms. Gradually, that pattern of inflammation and thinning of your lining has a snowball effect, potentially leading to issues such as IBS and other health problems.
What You Can Do
We’re not here to tell you to completely cut out salt! It’s just important to recognize what constitutes a balanced diet, and what doesn’t. We recommend re-evaluating your current sodium levels with the help of a professional. Whether that’s your doctor or a certified nutritionist, they’ll help you find the balance right for you.
Additionally, don’t forget to drink plenty of water! As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, you can never underestimate the power water has on your gut health.
Take Back Your Gut Health!
At Global Health Trax, we take pride in creating dependable, natural supplements that help our customers keep their wellbeing on track. Our mission is to deliver the best digestive nutritional products with progressive formulations for optimal wellness, longevity, and quality of life for people across the world.