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Natural Sources of Iodine
- You need iodine for proper functioning of the thyroid. Iodine advantages are found in a well-working thyroid. It combines amino acids to create thyroid hormones
- An iodine deficiency can lead to a goiter or hypothyroidism. This then leads to weight gain, lethargy, slowed reflexes and hair loss
- Sources of iodine are fish, dairy products and especially iodized salt
We are all aware that our bodies need different nutrients in order to continue functioning effectively. One of those nutrients is iodine. Many people required to be on a low salt diet worry that they may end up with an iodine deficiency. Understanding where to find good sources of iodine can quell these concerns.
Why You Need Iodine
Iodine is important to the proper functioning of the thyroid. Basically, iodine combines with amino acids in the body to create thyroid hormones that are released in the body as needed to control metabolism and other bodily functions. When not enough iodine is available to help make these hormones, the thyroid has to work harder to produce them and this can cause it to swell. This swelling can become noticeable in the form of a goiter.
The sad part about iodine deficiency is that it is easily preventable because only a small amount is needed to maintain good health. For example, one teaspoon of iodized salt per day is sufficient for a person’s iodine needs; however, if you need to reduce your salt consumption, you can find other sources of iodine.
Decent sources of iodine can be found in many types of fish. Haddock, for example, contains around 150 mcg of iodine (one teaspoon of iodized salt contains 400 mcg). Dairy products can have between 25 to 70 mcg of iodine. Keep in mind that most foods do not naturally contain iodine. Remember that you should increase your iodine consumption if you eat lots of foods that contain goitrogens, such as cabbage, soybeans, peanuts, and turnips. These goitrogens can make it harder for the body to process iodine.
Kelp is another good source of iodine, although many people may balk at having to consume it. If you love sushi, however, this can be a good way to get plenty of iodine thanks to the combination of seaweed and fish. You can sometimes buy powered kelp or supplements made from seaweed in natural or whole food markets if you are concerned about a lack of quality sources of iodine in your diet.
Concerns about Common Sources of Iodine
Iodized salt continues to be the best source of iodine. The product was created in response to a large number of inland people suffering from reduced thyroid function. People living on the coasts often ate more iodine-rich foods such as fish, so they had fewer problems. When iodine was added to table salt, however, the number of problems decreased dramatically.
Unfortunately, more people are moving away from table salt and using other varieties including kosher and sea salt. The problem here is that these alternatives are rarely enhanced with iodine.
If you can have salt, opt for versions enriched with iodine. You can also find some iodized salt that is low in sodium, too. Table salt is, after all, the most reliable of the sources of iodine available.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Minerals19 Nov 2008|