Importance Of Eating Enough Salt For A Healthy Pregnancy

Almost every day, you get reminded of the harmful effects of salt intake on your body. Yes, most of us are heavily reliant on the processed and dangerous table salt on a regular basis. Excess intake of table salt is a major risk factor for hypertension.

A health-conscious few begin to limit the daily consumption of salt but as long as your body meets its sodium requirements, nothing life-threatening happens. On the other hand, if you are a pregnant woman or trying to conceive, using salt sparingly in your diet can do more harm to you.

Consequences Of Having Less Salt During Pregnancy

effects of less sodium intake during pregnancy

Numerous studies have proven that low-salt intake can wreak havoc on a woman who’s pregnant or trying to conceive. Here are 3 after-effects of not having enough salt in your diet during pregnancy.

  • Pre-eclampsia can develop in salt depletion: Pregnancy-related hypertension and its complications are more likely to develop if there isn’t enough salt in the body. Pregnant women who resumed their normal salt intake were seen to overcome pre-eclampsia which is one of the primary causes of fetal death.1
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  • Higher risk of low birth weight in newborns: Expecting mothers who ate minimal amounts of salt had a higher risk of giving birth to babies who have an increased risk of low birth weight. This paves way for health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
  • Premature babies under sodium supplementation grew up healthy: Sodium promotes the development of crucial brain cells in the newborn. Researchers found that despite being premature, babies administered with salt/sodium in the first few weeks of birth improved their brain functioning and IQ.2
  • Heart and kidney problems in newborns are linked to low salt intake during pregnancy: Pregnant
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    women who consume extremely high or low amount of salt delivered babies with heart or kidney problems.3

Importance Of Salt During Pregnancy

importance of adequate sodium in pregnancy

During pregnancy, a fair amount of fluid retention that shows up as swelling of your extremities is quite normal. Sodium plays an important in regulating fluid levels according to your pregnant body’s demands. In addition to that, it plays an important role in carrying out various bodily processes.

Spikes in hormonal levels of progesterone happens during your pregnancy which encourages the kidneys to remove sodium from the body via urine. At this time, it’s mandatory that you don’t cut back on your sodium intake so that you can compensate for its loss from the body.

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Amount Of Salt Intake During Pregnancy

amount of salt to be consumed in pregnancy

The adequate intake of sodium during pregnancy is the same as non-pregnant adults and it’s 1.5 grams per day. It’s equivalent to 3.8 grams of table salt per day because it contains about 40% sodium. Unfortunately, many pregnant women eat way more than the recommended amount in the form of pickles, processed, and fast foods.

Switching over to healthier salt varieties like Himalayan pink salt can keep both you and your baby protected from the side effects of eating the processed table salt. However, you don’t have to binge on salty foods and should be careful about consuming it mindfully as a part of a balanced diet during pregnancy.

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