Sodium | Functions and Sources
What food source is the nutrient found in?
Sodium occurs naturally in most foods. It is even present
in drinking water. Prepared foods contain the most sodium in the
form of salt and food additives.
Convenience foods are designed to be quick and easy to
transport, store prepare and eat. To do all this, they need stabilizers,
preservatives, and ingredients to improve taste. Sodium does all of that.
High amounts of sodium chloride are found in processed meats
such as bacon, sausage, and ham, in canned soups and vegetables,
and in many frozen foods. Most restaurant food is also high in sodium.
Food additives that contain sodium include:
monosodium glutamate, known as MSG
baking soda, known as sodium bicarbonate
How does the nutrient affect the body?
Sodium performs the following key functions in the body:
regulates fluid balance by controlling the flow of liquids in and
out of each cell
sparks nerve impulses
helps the body to process and digest proteins and carbohydrates