The ultimate guide of iodine

 

Benefits of Iodine

  •  Improves Metabolism

 

Your thyroid is a major factor in regulating your metabolism, and if your Iodine levels are low, you run the risk of having an under-active thyroid, and therefore a sluggish metabolism. Get your Iodine levels to a good place and all else being equal you should see an increase in your metabolic rate. It’s always a good idea to get tested to see if you do indeed have an Iodine deficiency, rather than just assuming you do and taking a supplement when it’s not needed.



 
  • Protects Thyroid

 

Because of the world we live in, each day we’re bombarded by products, foods, drinks, and lifestyles that expose us to free radicals. These attack the body, including the thyroid. Having the right amount of Iodine helps to protect the thyroid from free radical damage. Not having enough means you are leaving it susceptible to this damage, which over time can lead to additional problems and conditions.
 
  •  Balances Hormones

 

Having low amounts of Iodine can throw your hormones out of whack because it has a direct effect on your thyroid gland, which in turn regulates many of your hormones. It has also been said to help bring your libido up to its natural levels. Sometimes it can be hard to identify the symptoms of low Iodine, but together with your doctor you can figure it out, and if you find out that you’ve been running a shortage you can take steps to make things right again.
 
  •  Improves Hair Growth

 

You shouldn’t start taking massive amounts of Iodine in hopes that it will help turn around your male pattern baldness, but it has been linked to the health of the hair, and how fast it grows. This is just one sign that you may be running behind on your Iodine, if you’ve noticed that your hair is not growing as quickly, or as fully as it used to. Be sure to look for other signs before drawing conclusions.
 
  •  Increases Energy Levels

 

Not getting enough Iodine each day sets you up for not having as much energy as you would otherwise. This is because it helps with proper thyroid function, and this is a big factor in whether you feel up and ready to go, or if you feel lethargic and like you need more rest. It’s not something that is often discussed when talking about healthy energy levels, but more and more we’re finding out the important role that Iodine plays in that department.
 
  •  Provides Protection from Radiation

 

One benefit of Iodine that most people will hopefully not need to experience is that it helps protect from radiation. This can come in handy for disasters like the one at the nuclear power plant in Japan, but doctors are also using it to help patients recover from radiation treatments.
 
  •  Protects from Pathogens

 

Iodine is being considered more and more as an alternative to using antibiotics in the body to treat certain pathogens. Many people do not like the idea of taking an oral antibiotic, since it’s been known to kill off good bacteria as well as bad, and can leave the body with excess levels of Candida. But Iodine has been shown to have a similar effect while not damaging healthy bacteria that the body needs.



  •  Protects Against Cancer
 
In a process known as apoptosis, Iodine helps the body kill off cells that could end up leading to cancer. This is one of the most important reasons to get your Iodine levels checked at your next doctor visit, or even to schedule a particular visit to have all of your vitamin and mineral levels checked. You can’t really know what you need to focus on if you don’t know what you’re lacking, or what you’re abundant in.
All of the symptoms of iodine deficiency are related to its effect on the thyroid:
GOITER – Without adequate iodine, the thyroid progressively enlarges (develops a goiter) as it tries to keep up with demand for thyroid hormone production. Worldwide, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of thyroid enlargement and goiter (see Goiter brochure). Within a goiter, nodules can develop. Patients with a large goiter may experience symptoms of choking, especially when lying down, and difficulty swallowing and breathing.
HYPOTHYROIDISM – As the body’s iodine levels fall, hypothyroidism may develop, since iodine is essential for making thyroid hormone. While this is uncommon in the United States, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism worldwide (see Hypothyroidism brochure).
PREGNANCY-RELATED PROBLEMS – Iodine deficiency is especially important in women who are pregnant or nursing their infants. Severe iodine deficiency in the mother has been associated with miscarriages, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and congenital abnormalities in their babies. Children of mothers with severe iodine deficiency during pregnancy can have mental retardation and problems with growth, hearing, and speech. In the most severe form, an under active thyroid can result in cretinism (a syndrome characterized by permanent brain damage, mental retardation, deaf mutism, spasticity, and short stature), though this is not seen in the United States. Congenital hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency is the most common preventable cause of mental retardation in the world. Even mild iodine deficiency during pregnancy, which may be present in some women in the United States, may be associated with low intelligence in children.

Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency:

Iodine deficiency in the body can bring in various symptoms. They are:


    • Goiter, or enlargement of the thyroid gland

 

    • Fatigue

 

    • Weight gain

 

    • Weakness

 

    • High cholesterol

 

    • Depression

 

    • Rapid heart beat

 

  • Appetite fluctuations


1. Iodized Salt:

Iodized salt is the main source of iodine in our diet. Iodized salt consists of table salt combined with minuscule amounts of iodine containing salts. Just one gram of salt provides the body with 77 micrograms of iodine and 0 calories.

2. Sea Vegetables:

Sea vegetables contain excellent sources of iodine. Kelp contains the highest amount of iodine than any other food on this planet. One serving of kelp contains around 2000 micrograms of iodine while one tablespoon of arame contains 730 micrograms of iodine. Wakame is another excellent source of iodine with one tablespoon providing 80 micrograms of iodine.



3. Baked Potato:

Baked potatoes are another great source of iodine. A medium sized baked potato provides 60 micrograms of iodine, helping you meet 40% of the daily-recommended value. Besides, the baked potato is also rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and potassium.

4. Milk:

Milk is not only a great source of calcium and vitamin D, but can help you meet your daily value of iodine as well. 1 cup of milk provides 56 micrograms of iodine and 98 calories. Milk also contains several essential minerals like phosphorus, folate, manganese, magnesium and potassium.

5. Dried Seaweed:

Dried seaweed is the best source of iodine. A quarter serving of dried seaweed provides a whopping 4500 micrograms of iodine. This is more than 3000% of the daily value of iodine. Make sure you consume seaweed in small portions to gain all the benefits.

6. Codfish:

Fishes are able to extract iodine from the seawater. Cod is a delicious, moist and a low calorie fish that comes packed with several essential nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids, protein, folate, vitamin D, E and potassium. A three-ounce serving of cod provides 99 micrograms of iodine, amounting to 99% of the daily value.

7. Shrimp:

As mentioned earlier, seafoods are great sources of iodine and shrimp is no exception. A three-ounce serving of shrimp provides 35 micrograms of iodine, around a quarter of the recommended daily value. Besides, regular consumption of shrimp can also raise your protein, calcium and other essential mineral levels in the body.

8. Himalaya Crystal Salt:

People are usually apprehensive about consuming table salt in excess amounts due to its high sodium content. In addition, table salt is chemically processed and is stripped of all its nutrient content. Himalaya salt, also known as gray salt, is an excellent alternative to table salt. A half gram of Himalaya salt provides an incredible 250 micrograms of iodine, over 150% of the daily value of iodine. So, consume this salt in moderation.

9. Turkey Breast:

Three ounces of turkey breast can provide 34 micrograms of iodine, around 23% of the daily value of this essential mineral. Turkey is also a good source of B complex vitamins, potassium and phosphorus, which are essential to a healthy body. Lean turkey is low in calories too, with three ounces containing just 70 calories.

10. Dried Prunes:

Consuming five dried prunes a day can provide you with fiber, boron, vitamins, mineral and 13 micrograms of iodine. Dried prunes are a calorie dense food, and hence should be consumed in moderation.

11. Navy Beans:

Beans are one of the most versatile foods that you can include in your diet. A half-cup serving of navy beans can provide you with protein, potassium, copper, folate, calcium and iodine. You also get around 32 micrograms of iodine with every half cup serving of navy beans.

12. Tuna Fish:

Tuna, particularly canned tuna, contains high levels of iodine. Three ounces of tuna provide 17 micrograms of iodine, i.e. 11% of your daily iodine value. It also provides the body with vitamin D, iron, protein and minerals.

13. Boiled Eggs:

A hard boiled egg can help you meet 12 micrograms of iodine, around 9% of the daily value. It also supplies the body with vitamin A, E, antioxidants, calcium, protein and zinc. Enjoy a hard boiled egg with cottage cheese and slice it to pair with a leafy green and vegetable salad.

14. Yogurt:

Yogurt is one of the healthiest foods to include in your daily diet. It is also an excellent option for increasing the iodine levels in your body. A cup of yogurt provides 154 micrograms of iodine and 154 calories. So, enjoy yogurt smoothie in your breakfast or combine it with berries for a light evening snack.

15. Bananas:

Banana is an excellent energy boosting fruit. It contains a high potassium content that energizes you in a jiffy. However, not many are aware of the iodine content in bananas. A medium sized banana provides 3 micrograms of iodine, amounting to 2% of the daily value.

16. Strawberries:

Strawberries are a nutrient dense fruit that provides the body with a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals. This delicious fruit is a surprising source of iodine as well. A cup serving of iodine contains 13 micrograms of iodine, around 10% of what an average person needs in a day.

17. Canned Corn:

Corn can also help you boost the levels of iodine in your body. A half cup of canned corn provides 14 micrograms of iodine and 67 calories. You can enjoy corn as a side dish or prepare it in a creamy soup to enjoy all the benefits.

18. Lobster:

A serving of lobster daily can prevent you from iodine deficiencies. A 100 grams serving of lobster provides 100 micrograms of this essential mineral, around 67% of the daily value. Moreover, lobsters are quite low in fat content, making them a perfect choice for health conscious people. Lower cholesterol levels in lobsters help to maintain the triglyceride levels, thereby keeping the heart healthy. Lobsters are also rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

19. Cheddar Cheese:

Cheddar cheese is one of the most delicious options to get more iodine in your diet. An ounce serving of cheddar cheese provides 12 micrograms of iodine and 452 calories. Since the food is high in calories, you must consume it in moderation. Add a slice of cheddar cheese to the sandwiches and burgers or sprinkle some over soups and salads to enjoy all the benefits.

20. Cranberries:

This bright colored fruit provides a plethora of health benefits. It contains high concentrations of vitamin C, K, B, antioxidants and fiber. This fruit is an amazing source of iodine as well. Four ounces of cranberries provide 400 micrograms of iodine, equaling to 267% of the daily value. Cranberry is also renowned for its positive effects on urinary tract infection. The fruit is low in calories as well. While purchasing packaged juice, be aware of its sugar content.

21. White Bread:

White bread is usually not recommended because of its high carbohydrate content, but if consumed in moderation, it can be a great addition to your diet. Two slices of white bread contain 45 micrograms of iodine, or 30% of the daily-recommended value.

22. Green Beans:

A half-cup serving of green beans can help you meet 2% of the daily value of iodine. Green beans are a great source of folate, vitamin B, C, protein and potassium as well. It provides nearly 40% of the daily value of folate and 53% of the daily value of fiber, which protects the colon and flushes the amount of toxins from it.

23. Pineapple:

Pineapple is also a good source of iodine. It contains a range of vitamins, minerals and bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme used for the treatment of autoimmune disorder. Pineapple also acts as an anticoagulant, lowering the blood pressure.



24. Rhubarb:

Rhubarb has been used since the 3rd century BC for its medicinal properties. It is one of the best sources of iodine. In addition, it also provides calcium, manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Its roots contain anthraquinone, a stimulant laxative used for relieving constipation.

25. Watercress:

Watercress is one of the best sources of iodine for the vegans. In fact, its high iodine content gives it a nutritional breakaway value from other cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are also known for their anti-cancer effects. The anti-cancer benefits of watercress arise from the high levels of antioxidants present in it. Watercress also provides a wide range of vitamins and other nutrients. You can use this versatile vegetable in green salad, pasta or soups for a subtle peppery flavor.
 

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