Sodium: the little element with a big effect on your blood pressure.
If you ever wonder about the cause of fluctuations in your blood pressure, take a look at the sodium in your diet over the previous 24 hours.
Sodium, in salt (NaCl) and in other compounds like MSG, is the culprit in many cases.
Sodium is really active in causing blood pressure to rise, particularly the systolic pressure (top number of your blood pressure).
The sodium you eat today will likely effect your blood pressure for the next 24 hours while your kidneys work to eliminate it.
So, if you are sensitive to salt, lower your sodium intake, and if you do eat something salty, drink an extra bottle of water to help your kidneys get rid of it.
For most healthy people, your water goal is 60-64 ounces every day. (Caffeinated beverages don’t count.) Achieve this goal and your blood pressure will be better and you heart and kidneys will be glad you did.
Beverly J. Howard, PhD, RN, FNP-BC