Is it an Iodine deficiency?
We wrote our original blog on iodine deficiency way back in May 2017. It was therefore interesting to watch Trust Me I am a Doctor and see iodine deficiency highlighted.
Trust Me were raising the common issue of iodine deficiency.
Trust Me cite reasons for deficiency as:
- Not drinking milk
- Not eating white fish
We add low salt / no salt diets too
These are valid issues. Many of us choose a Vegan or vegetarian diet. In addition, lactose intolerance is now a common health concern.
We can be short of iodine if we choose to eat a low salt diet or eat lots of processed and fast foods. We have become wary of consuming too much salt and we tend not to eat iodine rich foods. Seafood and sea vegetables are great sources of iodine but many of us just don’t eat them.
Trust Me did a trial using white fish, seaweed and milk in equal measures. Participants were given portions of each and then assessed for how long the iodine stayed in the body.
Milk and white fish scored as the most effective sources for those participants but seaweed products still performed well.
We have updated the original blog so please read on. Assess your health, and ask yourself “Am I Iodine deficient?” Discover alternative sources of iodine and why you need to have it in your diet.
Could you be Iodine deficient?
Iodine is a micronutrient; this means it is required in trace amounts by the body. Don’t be deceived! Micronutrients are just as vital to our health as other substances.
Iodine is important because it is involved in
- Thyroid hormone production
- Energy creation
- Brain and nervous system support
- Growth and development
A lack of iodine can cause
- Hypothyroidism – under-active thyroid
- Poor mental development
- Poor growth
- An imbalanced endocrine system. Our endocrine system controls the glands that produce our hormones. In my experience, if one gland is not working well this affects the performance of others.
- The thyroid and adrenals are very closely linked. Thyroid issues usually respond well to adrenal support demonstrating the link between these glands
I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid – hypothyroidism. This is not an enjoyable experience. My symptoms included
- being sluggish to the point of dragging yourself around,
- no ability concentrate or take in information
- putting on weight if I so much as looked at food
- my skin suffered
- I was very down and miserable to the point of depression at times
- These were just some of the highlights for me so as you can appreciate I don’t recommend it!
- It is my belief that my thyroid problems were related to stress and putting my adrenals under constant strain
Stress can deplete the body of many nutrients as can having a baby. Women need to be careful during pregnancy because the body demands much more iodine. If a Mum is iodine deficient she may become hypothyroid and or she may risk her baby suffering with developmental issues.
Typically we need 280 mcg a day and we can be 100mcg short.
Iodine Rich Foods
The best lactose, salt free, vegan iodine sources are:
Sea vegetables such as kelp, arame, Kombu and wakame. They taste good too.
Other options include asparagus, sesame seeds, cranberries, strawberries, banana, prunes, corn, garlic, spinach, Swiss chard and lima beans
Check out our sea vegetable range!
If you are not Vegan or vegetarian consider:
Seafood, eggs, yogurt, tinned sardines or tuna, and of course milk!
Low salt or no salt?
Worried about missing out on flavour?
Here are just a few options for you:
We have two lovely products made with sea salt, seaweed and garlic or chilli
I hear you thinking how is sea salt different to normal salt…
Sea salt just like pink Himalayan salt we mentioned in our earlier blog on Salt awareness week offers you a pure product full of lots of trace minerals and all in the right proportion to maintain your electrolyte balance correctly
Vogel’s Herbamere is a tasty herb flavoured alternative to salt
You could try Porcini mushrooms – you need to hydrate them but they are a delicious addition – especially to a mushroom soup, they take it to another level.
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are all excellent herbs to complement and enhance your food
Turmeric, cumin, ginger and cardamom along with curry powder and chilli really lift your South Asian dishes
Basil is a personal favourite either in pesto or fresh in salads or sandwiches
Puddings and cakes can taste fabulous and be healthier as well as tasty if you add cinnamon or nutmeg.
We hope this refreshes you on the alternative options that
- give you the iodine you need to stay well
- maintain your ethics
- support your dietary requirements