World Iodine Deficiency Day – Importance of Iodine in the Diet and 3 Natural Food Sources

By      21-Oct 2019       Reading Time: 6 Mins

World Iodine Deficiency Day – Importance of Iodine in the Diet and 3 Natural Food Sources

Symptoms of iodine deficiency has now become a major health problem throughout the whole world. Iodine is a mineral found in some foods. Our body needs iodine to create thyroid hormones and these hormones control the body’s metabolism and many other important functions. Apart from this, human body needs thyroid hormones for proper bone and brain development. Eating subsequent iodine rich fruits and vegetables is essential for everyone, especially for the infants and women who are pregnant.

Importance of Iodine in the diet

Iodine is an element which is needed by the body to carry out proper functioning and development of the thyroid gland. In our body, approximately 70% to 80% of iodine is located in the thyroid gland and is responsible to make thyroid hormones. Iodine comes from the iodine food- when it is absorbed by the thyroid gland to help produce thyroid hormones which are responsible for regulating many functions in our body such as breakdown of fat, body temperature, growth, reproduction, muscle or nerve function and maintenance of heart rate. Hence, add iodine rich foods in your diet on daily basis so that

  • Eggs: Eggs are a good source of iodine. With the iodine, one whole egg is a good source of lean protein, gives you healthy fats and widely rich in vitamins and minerals. The majority of the iodine comes from the egg yolk. On an average, one large egg contains 24 micrograms of iodine or 16% of the daily value.
  • Prunes: Prunes are dried plums and it is a good vegetarian source of iodine. Five dried prunes will give you 13 micrograms of iodine, or about 9% of the daily value. Prunes are commonly known for relieving constipation. Prunes have high content of fiber and sorbitol (a type of sugar alcohol). Prunes are high in many other vitamins and nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium and iron. Because of the large number of nutrients it offer, it helps in improving heart health, decrease the risk of colon cancer and even help manage weight by decreasing appetite.
  • Sea food: The ocean is particularly known as the most iodine-rich foods, including seafood and seaweed (sea vegetables). Seaweed can be used commonly in macrobiotic dishes. Seaweeds tend to store heavy metals, so always be cautious while consuming it (never consume it too much). They can be used as dried, pickled, or as a condiment. It is recommended to sprinkle it into the soups or salads, because due to the high content of salt into it, flaked seaweeds can be easily used as a substitute to table salt. Some common seaweeds used for cooking and snacking are below.
  • Nori: Nori comes in sheets and is known for the lower-iodine. One sheet provides 16 micrograms (mcg) of iodine.
  • Arame Kelp: Kelps have high iodine content, but it comes in several varieties. Arame has a mild, semi-sweet flavour and comes in dark brown strands. One tablespoon of Arame contains about 730 mcg of iodine.
  • Kombu Kelp: Kombu kelp is cultivated on floating oceanic ropes off of Japan and Korea. It’s one of the most popular sea vegetables in Asia. A one-inch piece of Kombu contains about 1,450 mcg of iodine.
  • Wakame Kelp: Wakame kelp has a sweet yet strong flavour. It is used as traditional Chinese medicine for various health issues. One tablespoon of Wakame contains about 80/mcg of iodine.
  • Hiziki: One tablespoon of Hiziki, not only contains about 780 mcg of iodine, but it also has high amounts of calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Over to you

Undoubtedly, iodine is an important mineral of our diet. The natural foods listed above are not only the best sources of iodine, but also very nutritious and easy to add in your daily diet. Also, remember not to add iodine supplement in your diet instead go for fresh fruits and vegetables to absorb all the iodine benefits.

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