Iodine is unique among all the minerals as it is an essential ingredient in hormones. It acts on the hormones of the thyroid gland, which control the body’s activity rate, growth, development and the healthiness of skin and hair. It can also prevent from headaches.
Foods Rich in Iodine
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The RNI for Iodine for healthy adults is a intake of 140ug daily.
Iodine’s role is confined to producing the hormone thyroxine. About two-thirds of the body’s iodine is in the thyroid gland, while the remainder is in the hormone itself. If there is too much thyroxine the body’s activity rate – its basal metabolism – speeds up; if there is too little, the body’s activity rate slows down. If we do not get enough iodine in our diet, the thyroid gland becomes swollen and the swelling appears just below the jaw. The enlargement of the gland is called goitre, and is common in areas where the soil is iodine-deficient.
Effects if you don’t get enough Iodine
A deficiency of iodine will lead to goitre; this is the condition tends to appear during puberty or pregnancy. People with goitre become lethargic and sensitive to cold; they tend to gain weight and their skin becomes coarse. When there are inadequate thyroxine levels, a condition called hypothyroidism occurs. Symptoms here are puffiness around the eyes, sparse and course hair, course and dry skin and memory.
Need of the mineral Iodine?
Everyone needs iodine to produce thyroxine, but the signs of deficiency are easy to spot and treatment can be given. Those more at risk are women at puberty, pregnant women and children. There has been a suggestion that women in low iodine areas, are more prone to womb cancer. Some foods contain excessive levels of the minerals manganese and cobalt which interfere with the thyroid gland, extracting iodine. If you are in the habit of eating large amounts of raw cabbage you must ensure you are also getting sufficient iodine.
Some dieters believe that they struggle with their body weight because of an under active thyroid gland, this is possible, in most cases it has been found that they were simply ingesting too many calories and not active enough!