Iodine is an essential dietary mineral. The deficiency of iodine is due to the lack of this element, an essential nutrient in our diet. Iodine deficiency can lead to thyroidism, as thyroid hormones: Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine contain iodine, cretinism, autoimmune diseases and preventable mental retardation in children. This deficiency is common in mountainous regions where food is grown in iodine-poor soil and where the intake of marine food is less.
Low levels of iodine are not the only cause of low thyroid function. But a low level of iodine can cause an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland, also called as a Goiter and other thyroid problems. In children, it can cause mental disabilities also.
The various symptoms of Iodine deficiency are:
- Appetite fluctuations
- Weight gain
- High cholesterol
- Goitre, or enlargement of the thyroid gland
- Rapid heartbeat
To overcome the deficiency of Iodine, we can include the below-mentioned foods in our diet:
- Salt: Iodized salt is a good source of iodine in our diet. Iodized salt consists of table salt combined with minuscule amounts of iodine-containing salts. 1 g of salt provides the body with 77 micrograms of iodine. People usually do not consume table salt as they are apprehensive about the content of sodium in it. Himalaya salt provides an incredible 250 micrograms of iodine.
- Sea Vegetables: Sea vegetables contain a good amount of iodine. Wakame is an excellent source of iodine with one tablespoon providing 80 micrograms. Kelp another good source contains the highest amount of iodine. One serving of kelp contains around 2000 micrograms of iodine.
- Baked Potato: Baked potatoes are also a good source of iodine. One medium sized baked potato provides 60 micrograms of iodine, helping us to meet 40% of the daily-recommended value.
- Milk: Milk is not only a good source of calcium and vitamin D but also help us to meet our daily value of iodine as well. 1 cup of milk provides 56 micrograms of iodine and 98 calories.
- Dried Seaweed: Dried seaweed is the best source of iodine. A quarter serving of dried seaweed gives 4500 micrograms of iodine. This is more than 3000% of the daily value of iodine. Make sure we consume seaweed in small portions to gain all the benefits.
- Shrimp: A three-ounce of shrimp provides 35 micrograms of iodine.
- Dried Prunes: Consumption of five dried prunes a day gives a good amount of fiber, boron, vitamins, mineral and 13 micrograms of iodine.
- Boiled Eggs: One boiled egg can help you to meet 12 micrograms of iodine. It also supplies vitamin A, E, antioxidants, calcium, protein and zinc to the body.
- Bananas: A medium-sized banana gives 3 micrograms of iodine.
- Strawberries: A cup serving of iodine contains 13 micrograms of iodine, around 10% of what an average person needs in a day.
- Canned Corn: Corn can also help you to boost the levels of iodine in your body. A half cup of canned corn provides almost 14 mg
- Cheddar Cheese: An ounce serving of cheddar cheese provides 12 micrograms of iodine and 452 calories. Since the food is high in calories, you must consume it in moderation. One slice of cheddar cheese to the sandwiches or sprinkle some over soups and salads to enjoy all the benefits.
- Pineapple: Pineapple is also a good source of iodine. It provides a range of vitamins, minerals and bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme used for the treatment of the autoimmune disorder. Pineapple also acts as an anticoagulant, lowering the blood pressure.
- Watercress: Watercress is one of the best sources of iodine for the vegans. In fact, its high iodine content gives it a nutritional breakaway value from other cruciferous vegetables. Anti-cancer benefits of watercress arise from the high levels of antioxidants present in it.