Is Iodine only required for a healthy thyroid?
Most of us know that Iodine is needed for a healthy functioning thyroid gland. Iodine makes up a significant portion of our thyroid hormones. These hormones act on every cell of our body to upregulate cellular activity and therefore maintain a balanced metabolic rate. Iodine is so important to our thyroid health, that if a pregnant woman is deficient in this mineral, her baby is at risk of low birth weight and stunted mental growth.
However another important function of Iodine is to decrease the effects of too much oestrogen in women. Oestrogen excess can cause issues such as cysts in the ovaries and breasts, as well as heavy periods. If you experience sore breasts and fluid retention during your menstrual cycle, you may well be Iodine deficient.
Australian soils are low in Iodine, therefore it is necessary to supplement with this mineral. The best sources of Iodine are seaweed and seafood. If you don’t like the taste of seaweed or seafood, a great way to ensure adequate Iodine intake is to add dulse flakes to your salt:
- Just grind up the dulse and mix it through your salt (dulse flakes can be purchased at most health food stores)
- Taste the salt and add enough to just taste the dulse, however not too much to make it overpowering
- ½ tsp of powdered dulse to 1 tsp of ground salt should be sufficient
Mild iodine deficiency is a widespread problem in Australia and by simply adding seafood and seaweed to your diet, you will be on the road to optimum health