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How to Cleanse Your Body After Eating Too Much Salt

author image Timothy Banas
Timothy Banas has a master's degree in biophysics and was a high school science teacher in Chicago for seven years. He has since been working as a trading systems analyst, standardized test item developer, and freelance writer. As a freelancer, he has written articles on everything from personal finances to computer technology.
How to Cleanse Your Body After Eating Too Much Salt
A woman is pouring salt into a stir fry pan. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you binge on salty foods, you'll likely feel bloated and puffy a few hours later. That's because eating too much salt causes your body to retain water. The extra water in your body can amount to a few extra pounds of weight and can lead to high blood pressure. Your kidneys can filter only a little sodium out of your blood at a time, so there's no magic way to get rid of all the extra salt. All you can do is reduce your sodium intake, keep your metabolism high and wait.

Step 1

Cut back on your salt intake. Experts recommend a daily sodium intake of no more than 2,300 milligrams for healthy adults under the age of 40, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. That's about a teaspoon. People older than 40, African-American and those with high blood pressure have a lower recommended daily limit: 1,500 milligrams. If you've binged and are retaining water because of salt, you probably have consumed much more than 2,300 milligrams in a day. For the next couple of days, you should consume much less; shoot for 1,000 milligrams. Don't worry about getting too little -- some people in primitive cultures consume less than 200 milligrams per day and get by just fine.

Step 2

Drink bottled spring water while you're ridding your body of sodium. Tap water can contain small amounts of salts that could sabotage your effort to rid your body of sodium. Avoid soft drinks and sports drinks that contain salts and electrolytes.

Step 3

Rinse canned foods to wash away excess sodium. Canned beans, after draining and rinsing, have 40 percent less sodium. Avoid salt-loaded processed foods like lunchmeats, and dilute broths in recipes to keep sodium intake within bounds.

Step 4

Gauge your progress after two to three days of a low-sodium regime. You'll know when the extra salt has left your body because you'll no longer feel bloated and puffy, and you might notice that you've lost a little weight because your body is retaining less water. At this point, you can gradually increase your sodium intake to closer to your daily intake limit. Keep track of how you feel, and settle on a sodium intake that meets your individual health needs.

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