When we think of chemicals that contribute to the welfare of humanity, we rarely think of sodium chloride… the ordinary “kitchen salt”. However, salt is one of the chemical compounds in longest use by Man for its ability to preserve food, which turned it into highly valued merchandise.
In fact, food preservation by salt is one of the foundations of our civilization, as Man was freed from a seasonal dependence on food and could store food reserves for winter during the summer.
Adding salt to food triggers a process of osmosis, which causes water to flow from an environment with a low salt concentration to one with a higher concentration. In this way, salt removes water from food, inhibiting the growth of micro-organisms. These micro-organisms that cause food to rot and produce toxins that affect our health, do not survive under a high osmotic pressure, i.e., where water is taken from them by osmosis.
Sodium chloride is also a dietary component essential to the functioning of our body. The dissolution of “salt” originates sodium and chloride ions, which are present in all tissues and fluids of the human body, where they play very diverse roles. Just to mention the most important: they are essential for maintaining the healthy balance between the osmotic cellular and extracellular fluids; they ensure the balance between positive and negative ions in the body and they have an important role in the nerve impulse transmission throughout the body.
But in excess, salt can cause health problems. Do not exceed the daily intake of 6g recommended by the World Health Organization if you want to benefit from the chemistry of salt!
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