Iodine plays a much more important role in our lives than we attribute to it. Even though we pay little attention to this precious mineral, our bodies need it to play a key role in the production of the thyroid hormone. These hormones actually are vital since it controls the metabolism level of our body and of other functions. For pregnant women and babies, these thyroid hormones undertake a different role in the body as they are in charge of the development of bone and brain. As expected, when we are deprived of iodine, our body starts breaking down and it increases the risk of serious health issues like an enlarged thyroid gland or cretinism. This is what we all know of as an iodine deficiency.
What Does Iodine Do?
Iodine is important to our body as it helps our thyroid gland generate thyroid hormones. Thus, it is just as necessary to understand what these thyroid hormones do. In short, they are what controls our growth, help repair damaged cells and gift us a healthy metabolism rate, which ultimately helps you lose weight. What you need to take away is that each and every cell in our body relies on our thyroid hormones for the regulation of metabolism. Thus, without these thyroid hormones, your body will find the conversation of oxygen and calories to energy much much slower and what it does is to cause you to gain more weight.
Where Can We Get Iodine?
How much iodine our body needs is dependent on our age. For adults, they would require somewhere around 150 mcg a day, while pregnant and breastfeeding mothers would require an amount in the 250 mcg range. It has been discovered that iodine is one of the few minerals that cannot be made by our body, thus, most of the iodine that we require has to come from our diet. Thankfully, there are plenty of foods rich in iodine and we are here to uncover a few of them.
Seaweed is more than just a lovely source for nutrients that our body thrives on, antioxidants, vitamins and of course, as a great source of iodine. Interestingly, the type of seaweed actually determines how much iodine a type would contain. This is due to the location in which it is found in and the mode of preparation it was created under. If you are asking, kombu kelp is a seaweed that is common in most organic stalls since it has been found to contain the most iodine as compared to the other varieties of seaweed. Just a single sheet of kombu kelp contains almost 20 times what we would need in a day. Worried about an iodine overdose? Don’t worry, the human body reacts and tolerates excess iodine consumption, with the exception of those who are more sensitive towards iodine.
It is yet another seafood on this list! Codfish is a favourite dish of most Singaporeans for its silky smooth texture and rich flavour. Something unique about fish and iodine is that those fish that are lower in fat have been found to contain the highest amount of iodine. As you might have guessed, cod is one that is low in fat and offers a wealth of minerals and nutrients, including iodine. Just a serving of cod (85 grams) would provide you with around 60 to 100 mcg of iodine.
It has been uncovered that those who enjoy dairy products tend not to suffer from iodine deficiency. No surprises here since there is a correlation between iodine and most dairy products. In most cartons of milk that we find at the grocery store, we can expect at least 88 mcg of iodine in a standard glass of milk. It extends beyond the creamy liquid as well since yoghurt and cheese are also where we can get our fill of iodine. A single serving of plain yoghurt would supply you with around half of the recommended amount of iodine.
This is a favourite of most elderly people since prunes are believed to help clear up and relieve constipation due to the high amount of fibre and sorbitol in them. About 10 dried prunes would give one around 26 mcg of iodine (around 20% of the daily recommended amount). Although this doesn’t come close to the amount of iodine the previous three offers, prunes are the ideal food for vegans to gorge on to get their fill of iodine. Not to mention, prunes are full of vitamins like vitamin K and vitamin A, alongside nutrients like iron and potassium.
Accessible to most of us, eggs are a fantastic source of iodine since a regular egg would provide around 16% of our daily requirements. Not only are you getting iodine from eggs, but you are also taking in protein, healthy fats and a wide range of vitamins and minerals from eggs. But if you are one of those who skips the yolk, unfortunately, you won’t be getting your iodine fix since a majority of these nutrients are found in the yolk. For those who are struggling with their cholesterol, perhaps eggs are not for you.