Iodine is a trace mineral and it is important for the development and function of the body. Iodine is necessary for good thyroid function as well as proper regulation of the glands. Iodine is necessary for healthy skin, hair, nail and proper wounds healing. Iodine is essential for health because without proper amount of iodine in the body it cannot produce thyroid hormones – thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These two hormones are extremely important for regulating metabolism in every cell and controlling metabolic rate in the body.
Most of the iodine content in the body is stored in the thyroid gland and the rest is found in other locations of the body, such as, blood, salivary glands, mammary glands, etc. It also plays an important role in maintaining optimum energy levels of the body by ensuring optimum utilization of calories, without allowing them to be deposited as excess fats. Other benefits of iodine are removal of toxins from the body and assistance for the system in utilizing calcium and silicon. Iodine can significantly reduce conditions like fibrosis, turgidity and breast tenderness. Iodine acts as a relief for fibrocystic diseases and is widely used even in therapies
Deficiency symptoms: Deficiency of iodine can have serious effects. The symptoms of iodine deficiency include Excessive sleepiness, frustration, Rise in the cholesterol levels, Intolerance towards cold, swelling of the legs, depression, mental retardation, poor perception levels, rapid heart beat, goiter, abnormal weight gain, decreased fertility, coarse skin, chances of still birth in expectant mothers, constipation and fatigue. According to WHO reports, iodine deficiency is one of the leading causes of mental retardation all over.
Food Sources of Iodine:
Iodine is present in large quantities in both marine plant and animals, including shellfish, white deep- water fish, and brown seaweed kelp, which can absorb iodine from sea water. Bakers add iodine to bread dough as a stabilizing agent.
Fruits and Vegetable sources
Bladderwrack, Dulse, kelp, Irish Moss, Red Marine algae, Blue Green, Hiziki, Arame, Wakame, and all seaweed contain dietary iodine. Asparagus, black walnut hulls, cabbage, carrot, celery, chickweed, chlorella cranberries, cucumber, garlic, grapes, lettuce, lima beans, mushrooms, navy bean, orange, pineapple, potatoes, strawberries, Swiss chard, summer squash, sesame seeds, soybeans, turnip greens , spinach, spirulina, watercress, white oak bark, are rich in iodine. Iodized salt is another important source of iodine.
In countries where iodine is deficient in the soil, rates of hypothyroidism, goiter and retarded growth from iodine deficiency are very high.
In developed countries, however, because iodine is added to table salt, iodine deficiencies are rare.
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