The common knowledge that circulates when it comes to making a connection between salt and high blood pressure is that there is a cause and effect relationship. In other words, the higher a person’s salt intake, the greater likelihood there is for them to either have high blood pressure or be a candidate to have it as time passes. But the amount of actual scientific or medical evidence for this common knowledge was difficult to find.
Headaches and the Nervous System
If you constantly have a headache, there is a definitive link between high blood pressure as the source of the problem. A headache is considered to be a nervous system disorder from a medical point of view. This is important because high blood pressure affects more than just the heart, as the name suggests. Globally, doctors report that an estimated 46 percent of adults have reported some type of headache that negatively affects their lives.
The Salt Connection
In general, people who report having headaches have poor dietary habits. This can include a diet high in salt where snacks and other foods high in salt are consumed. In the United States, the average person consumes twice the amount of salt that is recommended by the American Heart Association. Though not conclusive evidence, a study was conducted to establish the connection.
The Dietary Study
When the study was conducted of 390 people over 90 days, it was concluded that the people who has consumed twice as much salt in controlled conditions complained of more headaches than those who consumed only half as much salt. This was true whether the person consumed a traditional Western diet or one that was primarily fruit and vegetable based created to reduce high blood pressure.
What we can take away from this simple study is that an increase in salt consumption will have a greater effect on a person’s blood pressure regardless of the type of food eaten. The study compared the salt intake voluntarily chosen by people to be in excess of what their physiological needs are. This is the question to ask when considering your own diet – how much salt is really needed?