While many people have not heard of iodine, most people have experienced a deficiency at some time. It is a vitally important nutrient that is present in all our organs and tissue and is essential for healthy thyroid function and efficient metabolism. There is also increasing evidence relating low iodine levels to numerous diseases, including cancer.
Wondering which foods you need to munch more to get your iodine kick? Seaweed, also known as kelp, is a sea plant concentrated in iodine. You can buy dry seaweed to eat from the supermarkets, or indulge in various kinds of sushi. My favourite way to get seaweed is to throw it into home made miso soup to also add goodness from the fermented miso. It is also widely available in capsule form, which is a great way to get it down daily without having to worry about how to add it to your next meal.
A few ways of how to recognise potential iodine deficiency:
• dry mouth owing to disabled your saliva production.
• rough and dry skin and an inability to sweat normally.
• reduced alertness and intelligence quotient (IQ) levels.
• muscle nodules, scar tissue, pain, fibrosis and fibromyalgia.
To aid in your iodine increase:
• eat organic as often as possible. • wash all produce thoroughly to minimise your pesticide exposure. • snack on nuts and seeds high in selenium (specifically brazil nuts). A deficiency in selenium can exacerbate iodine deficiency, so these two minerals are great to take together.
Exercise directly stimulates your thyroid gland to secrete more thyroid hormone and increases the sensitivity of all your tissues to thyroid hormone. It is even thought that many of the health benefits of exercise stem directly from improved thyroid function.
For further information on iodine, there are numerous articles and recommended foods available online, depending on your chosen diet.