Common salt, which contains sodium chloride, is a prerequisite for leading a healthy existence. In addition, salt also happens to be one of the fundamental tastes that are biologically required by the human race.

Though our bodies have the capacity to consume more salt than required, it is ideal to bring down the intake of salt to a maximum of 6 grams per day. This would minimize any ill-effects of salt and maximize benefits.

Studies have shown that excessive salt intake is a key factor behind several ailments affecting the heart and blood vessels of the human body such as hypertension or blood pressure. While cutting down salt intake is extremely tough for most of us, it is something that adults should prepare for once they cross 35 years.

Here is a list of five steps that you can try out for reducing salt consumption:

1) Include more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet menu which need not be cooked. Fresh fruits and vegetables also help boost potassium, which reduces the blood pressure.

2) Cut down on consumption of packaged foods which contain salt and baking soda that are high in sodium.

3) Make it a habit to add salt on the table while eating rather than while cooking. This may help reduce the intake of salt.

4) Add herbs, lime, tamarind, mangoes to reduce the salt content of the dish.

5) Avoid Chinese food. Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG) or ajino moto is a prime flavouring agent in the Chinese food. MSG contains high amounts of sodium.