Sodium is an essential mineral found in every cell of the body. Unfortunately, today it is so abundant in western diets in the form of salt, and so readily absorbed, that the delicate balance between required intake and sodium overload can be quickly exceeded. Deficiencies of sodium are therefore rare - and we are far more likely to suffer the effects of overindulgence e.g. with high blood pressure. The best way to source a healthy sodium supply is to eat fresh, unprocessed foods where sodium exists in highly palatable and acceptable quantities. It is the balance between sodium and potassium that governs our body cell function and fluid balance.
Sodium is the major mineral in the fluids surrounding the body's cells. Like potassium, it maintains the correct water balance in and around our cells. It also regulates blood volume and blood pressure and controls muscle contraction and relaxation.
As sodium is mostly sourced from salt, the major problem is not of too little, but too much. (See Salt)
Sodium is best sourced from those foods where it occurs naturally, such as beetroot, carrots, celery, endive and silverbeet. Most seafood, cereals, meats and dairy products also contain sodium.
On average, people in western countries eat 10-20 times the recommended intake of sodium, in the form of salt. The RDI is 920 - 2300mg of salt per day.