Iodine is fundamental for your body. In fact, according to many studies, it is the mineral that people around the world tend to lack the most since the body doesn’t synthesize it and it must come directly from the diet.
The problem also lies in the fact that there is very little iodine in food, unless big industries have included it in their products (like iodized salt for example). But generally, the majority of iodine is found in the ocean, especially in seaweed.
Iodine, this essential mineral for the human body, is absorbed in the intestinal tract and is transported in the blood stream to the thyroid glands, where it is stored to produce hormones. A good level of iodine helps you burn fat and prevent goiter and thyroid problems, for example. But, we will look at it in depth.
Benefits of Iodine
- It is imperative to have a good level of iodine in order to keep the thyroid hormone, or thyroxine, in balance. This hormone prevents you from suffering from goiter and hyperthyroidism.
- It allows the proper functioning of the metabolism, like growth in children and the proper functioning of the nervous system.
- It is essential for synthesizing carbohydrates and cholesterol.
- It gives you energy and is basic for cell health.
- It burns excess fat.
- Thanks to iodine, your nails, hair, and teeth will stay strong and healthy.
- For external use, it is normal to use it to disinfect wounds. Also, it is common to put it in your water in drinkable tablets.
Symptoms of Iodine Shortage
Having a low level of iodine in your body can cause the following symptoms:
- Tendency to feel cold
- Fatigue, joint pain
- Dry skin and hair
- Cretinism: a childhood disease with stunted physical and mental growth
Where Can I Find Iodine?
Fish and Seafood
The sea is a natural treasure chest of iodine, which is why eating fish or seafood at least three times a week is recommended. They contain amazing vitamins like B complex, vitamins A, D, and E, as well as fatty acids like Omega 3, which are all very good for your health.
It would be great if you eat salmon, herring, shrimp, prawns, cod, mussels, and sole.
You may not be used to seeing kelp as a vegetable, but it is an incredible source of iodine and would be great to include in your diet once in awhile. Beside seaweed, onions, beets, chard, spinach, cucumbers, green beans, watercress, and garlic are recommended. Besides being rich in iodine, they have antibacterial properties.
Some types of cheese are also very good to get iodine from. For example, cheddar cheese: if you eat 100 grams, you will get 39 mg. of iodine. Manchego cheese in oil: 100 grams gives you 34 mg. of iodine. Semi-cured manchego cheese: 34 mg. of iodine. Fresh mach ego cheese: 34 mg.
Many of the most common grains like rise, wheat, and rye are rich in iodine. If you eat 100 grams of cornflour, you will get 80 mg. of iodine.
Warnings About Iodine
You should keep in mind that your doctor should always be the person to tell you if you need extra iodine or not. For example, you absolutely cannot start eating seaweed everyday or increasing your iodized salt doses. High doses of iodine can be negative for your body, making you susceptible of suffering from hyperthyroidism, for example. Moreover, some medications cannot be combined with iodine, like those associated with manic-depressive disorders, for example. If you have any concerns, you should always consult your doctor. At any rate, a balanced diet based on vegetables, fruit, and grains will always be beneficial for your health.