Iodine is a mineral that is needed for the production of thyroid hormone. These hormones control the body’s metabolism and many other important functions. Our body does not make iodine, so it is an essential part of your diet. The required iodine must come from our diet.
Thyroid hormones are very essential for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy is serious for both the mother and the baby. Goiter, an enlarged thyroid gland, is often the first visible sign of iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency can lead to high blood pressure during pregnancy for the mother, and mental retardation for the baby. Iodine plays an important role in development of the central nervous system, brain development, deficiency may lead to mental retardation ,delayed sexual development, lower-than-average IQ in infants and children and decrease adults’ ability to work and think clearly. So it is very essential to get enough iodine for all, especially infants and women who are pregnant.
Every aspect of our lives requires iodine. It is required to regulate metabolism. Iodine deficiency is tied to many serious health problems. Approximately 40% of the world’s population remains at risk for iodine deficiency.
Although iodized salt has been the most effective public health initiative to attempt to reduce iodine deficiency, and thus hypothyroidism , it’s not that practical. A study performed by the University in Texas at Arlington actually revealed that table salt will not do the trick. Scientific analysis reveals that many commercial table salt brands now contain inadequate amounts of iodine. They found that salt alone cannot properly address any iodine deficiency. The good news is that there are many rich foods with iodine, all these foods are easy to incorporate into your daily diet.
Common signs and symptoms of iodine deficiency
- Trouble producing saliva and properly digesting food
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Cysts, soreness, and heaviness in breasts
- Swollen tongue and dry mouth
- Hair loss
- Shortness of breath
- Dry skin
- Poor concentration and difficulty retaining information
- Muscle pain and joint stiffness
- Weak, slow heart beat
- Thyroid disease
- Sensitivity to cold
- Fibrosis and fibromyalgia
- Slowed Metabolism
- Lowered Immunity
- Brain fog
Iodine Rich Foods:
Seaweed: Iodine is mainly found in seaweed.Seaweed is a type of red, brown or green algae that grows in or near the sea. One of the best sources of it would include a seaweed called kelp.The Japanese have had a high iodine intake for millennia, primarily due to seaweed and seafood. Seaweed is a trace element essential for healthy thyroid function and a healthy metabolism. Other beneficial components only found in seaweed including Fucoxanthin, fucoidans and phlorotannins. Seaweed are loaded with zinc and antioxidants which help strengthen immunity.
Cod Liver Oil: Cod liver oil is a great source of iodine and omega-3 fatty acid. Cod liver oil may contain more iodine than other types of fish oil. The cod fish contains approximately 99 mcg of iodine in three oz. of fish. Therefore, you should be more cautious while using the cod liver oil especially if you are allergic to iodine. Authorities advise using fish oil pills in people suffering from hyperthyroidism because of its anti-inflammatory qualities.
Himalayan Crystal Salt: Himalayan Crystal Salt is an excellent source of iodine. One gram of Himalayan salt contains about 500 micrograms of iodine. Himalayan Crystal salt contains more than 84 trace minerals and doesn’t have any negative effect as found in ordinary table salt.Table salt has been stripped of all its minerals except sodium and chloride. Himalayan salt contains iodine, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium. Adding more Himalayan salt to your food, you won’t need to worry about an iodine deficiency ever again. Always remember to purchase salt that is pink in color; this indicates that the salt is rich in minerals.
Boiled Eggs: Hard boiled eggs are consumed for their iodine content. It also supplies the body with vitamin A, E, antioxidants, calcium, protein and zinc. According to studies eggs of hen that have been fed a iodine rich diet may contain up to 200 micrograms per egg. Consume atleast one large egg as it can provide about 16% of your daily iodine intake.
Yogurt: Yogurt contains high levels of iodine due to having had iodine added to animal feeds by dairy farmers. One cup of low-fat plain yogurt has 75 micrograms iodine. So, enjoy yogurt smoothie in your breakfast or combine it with berries for a light evening snack.
Bananas: Bananas are rich not only with potassium, but also good levels of vitamin C , iodine, tyrosine and magnesium. A medium-sized banana contains 3 micrograms of essential iodine.Bananas keep the heart healthy, and they are good for the gut and keep the bones strong.
Dried Prunes: Dried Prunes are very rich in iodine and make a great addition to your diet. Dried prunes are rich calorie food, and hence it should be consumed in moderation. One serving of prunes will provide you with lots of fibre and vitamins A and K. Consuming 4-5 dried prunes a day can provide you with required fiber, vitamins, mineral and 13 micrograms of iodine. Prunes eases constipation problems too.
Strawberries: Delicious strawberries are loaded with iodine content. One cup of strawberries gives you 10% of your daily iodine value. Try buying fresh, organic strawberries which are free from chemicals.
Cranberries: Cranberries are not only antioxidant rich fruit but also a great source of iodine. Cranberries have about 400 micrograms iodine per 4 oz. Cranberries are also helpful in preventing urinary tract infections.
Baked Potatoes: Baked potato is one of the most inexpensive of iodine rich foods. One medium-sized baked potato holds 60 micrograms of iodine. It’s generally better to buy organic potatoes free from pesticides and other contaminants.
Few Tips to Optimize the Iodine Levels Naturally:
- Always purchase organic food. Wash all the fruits and vegetables thoroughly with vinegar to clear the pesticides and other chemicals.
- Completely avoid eating and drinking from plastic containers.
- Drink pure filtered water instead of soda and artificial flavored drinks.
- Use chemical free products as much as possible.
Also try to include these iodine rich food sources to have sufficient levels of iodine in the body system. Follow these simple tips to increase your optimum levels of iodine in your body.
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