Perhaps the most common seasoning found in kitchens throughout the United States, table salt quickly adds flavour to even the dullest of foods. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most Americans take in more than 4,000 mg of salt each day. Yet the National Academy of Sciences reports that people need just a fraction of that amount of sodium each day; about 500 mg. When excess salt builds up in the body, it creates water retention and a fatlike layer under the skin. The habit-changing steps below will help you flush this excess salt from the body and get you on the right track.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Fresh, unprocessed foods
- Alternative food seasonings
- Sauna (optional)
Cut as much salt from your diet as possible, and keep in mind that high sodium counts can be found in unexpected places, such as in canned soups and frozen dinners. Substitute salty fare with fresh meat, fruits, veggies and unprocessed grains, which will help flush out both water and sodium once digested.
Swap salt as a food seasoning for healthier options such as garlic, fresh black pepper, curry, basil and thyme. You may also consider purchasing potassium chloride to season your food, which has the same taste as standard salt, but doesn't build up and cause you to retain water.
Drink lots of water to help flush out the excess salt in your body. Though it may seem counterintuitive, water consumption actually causes the body to flush excess water and takes extra sodium along with it each time you urinate. Try to drink a few glasses more than the standard eight 236ml glasses of water per day to flush out extra salt more quickly. Also, opt for distilled or purified water, since tap water tends to carry trace amounts of sodium.
Engage in activities that make you sweat as much as possible to continue to flush excess salt from your system. Whether this means going for a daily jog, dancing, wearing a sweat suit as you walk around the neighbourhood or hitting the sauna, sweat quickly releases sodium through the skin. Just make sure to keep a bottle of water around during your exercise or steam sessions to avoid dehydration.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure you're only flushing excess sodium from your body, and not all the sodium in general, as you need some salts to help regulate your body fluids.
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