Iodine is an essential trace mineral is needed for the regulating normal metabolism because it is involved in thyroid activity.
Iodine is found in soil and the ocean, the amounts vary and affects the mineral content in food. It is mainly in animal protein and sea vegetables, and limited amounts in fortified staples such as grains. If you are vegan, and do not eat seaweed regularly, consider a supplement or iodised salt.
Health benefits of Iodine Iodine regulates metabolism, the conversion of energy obtained from food into energy to help cells function and grow. Iodine deficiency can have various adverse effects on overall health, particularly on the thyroid gland. The most well-known consequence of iodine deficiency is the development of goiter, which is the enlargement of the thyroid gland.
Other health issues: 1. Thyroid disorders such as, thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules and autoimmune thyroid diseases such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. 2. Hypothyroidism: is an under-active thyroid gland that disrupts normal metabolic functions like regulating heart rate, body temperature, and body weight. It causes symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, constipation, cold intolerance, mental sluggishness and dry skin and hair 3. Intellectual and developmental disabilities: iodine is important during pregnancy and early childhood for proper brain development. Moderate to severe iodine deficiency in children can cause a lower IQ and stunted growth. Severe iodine deficiency in pregnant women can result in mental retardation and developmental delays in their offspring. The amount of iodine in the breastmilk is depended on the mom’s diet 4. Pregnancy complications: Iodine deficiency in pregnant women increases the risk of complications such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and congenital abnormalities in the baby. It can also impair the child's cognitive and neurological development. NB: High-dose iodine supplements are not always advised, as they can cause thyroid problems in some women.
Caution with cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables such as wasabi, radishes, kale, cabbage and broccoli are rich in glucosinolates which may help fight cancer and phytonutrients, fibres, and vitamins and minerals with many health benefits.
They are also rich in goitrogens.
Goitrogens, in people with hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency, eating them in excess when raw may decrease iodine uptake and suppress thyroid activity.
To deactivate the enzyme that causes the goitre effect, lightly cook to cruciferous vegetables.
Cook or consume with iodized salt to avoid reduced iodine uptake