MAKE THE PUFF GO POOF!
Cucumber slices, cold teaspoons, soaked tea bags. We’ve all heard of the many ways to reduce puffy eyes temporarily, but are there ways to help prevent them from happening in the first place? Definitely! There were many days that I couldn’t look anyone in the eye until after 10 a.m. because my eyes were so puffy, it was awful. Through making some easy sodium related tweeks to my diet, I have seen tremendous improvement! Here are some tips that have helped me:
Avoid salt and processed foods. This isn’t as clear cut as it sounds. If you can get in the habit of checking labels of the foods you consume, you will be surprised to find a lot of hidden salt/sodium. Excess salt pulls water out of our cells and into the surrounding tissue, which is why we end up bloated & dehydrated.
The American Heart Association recommends Americans consume less than 1,500 mg/day sodium. This level with the greatest effect on blood pressure. If you are someone who loses large amounts of sodium in sweat, such as high performance athletes, workers exposed to extreme heat stress (think fire fighters, roofers, construction workers, etc), or to those directed otherwise by their healthcare provider.
SODIUM VS. SALT, what exactly is the difference?
SODIUM is a mineral that is classified as an electrolyte because it carries an electric charge. Electrolyte minerals play well with other electrolyte minerals, like potassium, magnesium & calcium in balancing water levels in cells, they stimulate nerve impulses & muscle contractions. People often don’t realize that sodium is an electrolyte and the reason it plays a role in regulating heart muscle contractions & controlling blood volume. This is why The American Heart Association recommends that Americans limit their consumption of sodium to keep their heart and blood vessels healthy!
SALT is a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite, in it’s natural form. When we think of traditional ‘table salt’ is a mineral comprised mainly of the two elements, sodium and chloride. Table salt is typically mined from underground salt deposits. Table salt is more heavily processed to eliminate minerals and usually contains an additive to prevent clumping. Most table salt also has added iodine, an essential nutrient that helps maintain a healthy thyroid.
SEA SALT is produced through evaporation of ocean water or water from saltwater lakes, usually with little processing. Depending on the water source, this leaves behind certain trace minerals and elements. The minerals add flavor and color to sea salt, which is why you can find it in white, pink, even black, among other colors. Sea salt, as a table salt, also can be found a variety of coarseness levels, meaning larger granules.
POTASSIUM is the answer. Potassium is another mineral that acts as an electrolyte and is essential to a healthy life. Low levels of potassium are associated with a risks of digestive disorders, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, arthritis, cancer and even infertility.
Potassium deficiencies can also be triggered by some medicines, such as diuretics and some types of birth control pills. Those who are high performance athletes or work in physically demanding jobs are also at risk for deficiency. Those who smoke, abuse drugs and/or alcohol or have digestive issues must also be aware of their potassium levels because they are also at risk.
Adults, over age 18, are recommended to get 4,700 mg per day and breastfeeding women should consume 5,100 mg of potassium per day for optimum health benefits.
Proper potassium consumption should come from food sources. Fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, sweet potatoes, beets, tuna, baked potato and many more, are rich in potassium with its bicarbonate precursors, that favorably affect acid-base metabolism. This may reduce risk of kidney stones and bone loss. Potassium-rich fruits and vegetables include leafy green vegetables, fruit from vines, and root vegetables. Meat, milk, & cereal products also contain potassium, but may not have the same effect on acid-base metabolism.
Follow this link for excellent sources of potassium! http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/appendixB.htm#appB1