Sodium and Your Skin

Sodium and Your Skin

Most of the sodium in our diets comes from processed foods, not from the salt shaker.

Pre-prepared soups, frozen meals, pasta sauces, and salty snacks are the usual suspects. If you have puffiness around your eyes or ankles, or if you have trouble keeping your skin hydrated, you might be consuming too much salt. Excessive salt consumption can result in water retention, which in addition to the normal symptoms of feeling bloated, can account for those puffy regions around the eyes which even the most expensive skin care creams may fail to help. Your kidneys can rid your body of excess sodium up to a point, but it helps if you don’t give them too much work to do and if you provide them with plenty of potassium. The mineral potassium is “exchanged” for sodium in your kidney cells. That is, for every atom of sodium that your kidneys reject, they keep an atom of potassium. Here are some great tips for achieving a low salt lifestyle and hopefully banish those puffy eyes once and for all: Get use to checking out your labels for hidden salt content. Remember 2300 milligrams per day is the maximum level recommended by the FDA, so try to keep well below this if possible. Try to avoid any product that has salt or sodium in the ingredients list. Foods labeled “reduced sodium” might just indicate that the product is a new formulation with lower salt levels. Don’t be fooled by this because the salts levels may still be excessively high. Don’t assume mineral waters are salt free. Always check the label. Avoid canned vegetables, which are stored in salt water. Take out food is notorious for high salt content. With no ingredient labels to check, these are best avoided or limited to a once-in-a-while treat. Eat plenty of raw vegetables and fruit, and drink plenty of plain water. This provides a potassium boost which helps flush out sodium and reduce salt cravings.

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