Iodine Rich Foods

Iodine is one of the body’s trace mineral that is needed for the normal metabolism of cells as well as for the production of thyroid hormones. The Oregon State University states that iodine deficiency is a significant health problem worldwide.

There are many iodine rich foods and consuming these aids in having a healthier body and are an important source of nutrients for those who are at risk for deficiency.

The iodine content of foods that are grown in the ground is dependent on the soil’s iodine content.

Why does the body need Iodine?

The human body requires adequate iodine content in order for the thyroid gland to produce certain hormones that are needed in regulating the metabolic rate of the body. An inadequate dietary level of iodine results to the swelling of the neck and produces goiter.

This condition can cause stunted growth and mental retardation in children when left untreated. Aside from that lack of iodine can also cause dry and coarse skin, slowed reflexes, hair loss and other effects in adults.

Goiter can be prevented by consuming sufficient amounts of iodine rich foods and/or supplementing the diet with this mineral.

Iodine Daily Allowances

The recommended dietary intake of iodine is as follows:

Infants (0 to 6 months) 110 micrograms
Infants (7 to 12 months) 130 micrograms
Children (1 to 8 years) 90 micrograms
Children (9 to 18 years) 120 micrograms
Adults 120 micrograms
Pregnancy 150 micrograms
Lactation 200 micrograms

 Iodine Rich Foods

Some of the main Iodine rich foods  include arame, cheese,  condensed milk, cod, eggs, dulse, haddock, fish, fish oils, hijike, kelp, kombu, iodized salt, malt bread, mayonnaise, milk, sea foods, sea kelp, naan bread, nori,  seaweed, sea salt, wakame,  onions, and fruits and vegetables that are grown in iodine rich soils. Go here for a full Iodine Rich Foods List.

Health Benefits of Iodine

There are several prominent health benefits of iodine that can greatly influence the functioning of the thyroid gland and increasing the production of thyroid hormones. The increased hormonal production is directly proportional to the metabolic rate. It can influence blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and weight, and also aids in protein synthesis.

Less consumption of iodine can lead to decrease of energy levels. It can also help in the optimum utilization of calories working to raise energy levels without allowing deposits of excessive fats.

A regular and healthy intake of iodine rich foods aids in maintaining stronger teeth, bones, shiny skin and hair. Lack of iodine in the body can also restrain hair growth and may cause hair fall. Adequate intake of iodine is vitally important to allow maturity of reproductive organs and normal growth. It also determines proper growth and movement, along with hearing and speech in babies.

Correct levels of iodine in the body can curb the condition of turgidity, breast tenderness and fibrosis. It is also used in therapies as it can act as relief for fibrocystic diseases. Recent studies have also shown that iodine has anti-cancer properties, wherein cancer cells tend to shrink once administered with this mineral. Aside from removing toxic elements from the body such as lead, fluoride and mercury, it can help improve the immune system of the body, as well as preventing the proliferation of harmful bacteria in the stomach.

References and Further Reading

USDA; Office of Dietary Supplements; Linus Pauling Institute; Philippines Department of Health.