I hope you’re all good!
I recently read an interesting book called: “Plant based nutrition and health’’ by Stephen Welsh PhD. He mentioned a trace mineral called iodine, it has many benefits and decreases the risk of deficiency.
I did more research and its pretty fascinating, and this I want to share with you. Some of you may be newbies like me and you could find it useful. Unfortunately, we don’t talk or hear about it enough. To be healthy we need many substances but none of them do more for us than iodine.
So, what is Iodine?
Iodine is water-soluble trace mineral required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones and functioning of the thyroid glands. Iodine, when combined with amino acids, produces thyroid hormones that play a major role in all the physiological functions.
The thyroid is a major gland located in the front of the neck just below the larynx. It controls all metabolic processes involved with energy. If it doesn’t function properly, then you could become fat or scrawny, become lethargic or so overactive that you can’t slow down, and children may not develop properly. It plays a major role in preventing fibrocystic breast diseases, a condition that causes swelling of the breast tissues and is instrumental in brain development.
It can do even more for us! It’s a terrific cleanser, preventing harm from radiation, and is a detoxing agent.
Iodine deficiency in the body can bring various symptoms. These are:
- Goiter, or enlargement of the thyroid gland
- Weight gain
- High cholesterol
- Rapid heart beat
- Appetite fluctuations
Rich Food Sources of Iodine:
It is very important to include high amounts of iodine rich foods in your diet as the body cannot synthesise this mineral. The amount of iodine found in food sources is small. The quantity of iodine depends on environmental factors like use of fertilizers and soil concentration.
Here is a list of best iodine rich foods:
Sea Vegetables: Kelp and Wakame are excellent sources of iodine. Although they are rich sources, there are several reasons why it may not be the best option. The iodine content of seaweed is variable, and sometimes too high. Also, some types may be contaminated.
Himalaya Crystal Salt: People are usually apprehensive about consuming table salt in excess amounts due to its high sodium content. In addition, table salt is chemically processed and is stripped of all its nutrient content. Himalaya salt, also known as gray salt, is an excellent alternative to table salt.
Dried Prunes: Consuming five dried prunes a day can provide you with fiber, boron, vitamins, mineral and 13 micrograms of iodine. Dried prunes are a calorie dense food, and hence should be consumed in moderation.
Navy Beans: Beans are one of the most versatile foods that you can include in your diet. A half-cup serving of navy beans can provide you with protein, potassium, copper, folate, calcium and iodine.
Bananas: Bananas are an excellent energy-boosting fruit. It contains a high potassium content that energises you in a jiffy. However, not many people are aware of the iodine content in bananas. Try my Banana bread recipe.
Strawberries: Strawberries are a nutrient dense fruit that provides the body with a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals. This delicious fruit is a surprising source of iodine also.
Cranberries: Contains high concentrations of vitamin C, K, B, antioxidants and fiber. This fruit is an amazing source of iodine as well. Four ounces of cranberries provide 400 micrograms of iodine, equaling to 267% of the daily value. Cranberry is also renowned for its positive effects on urinary tract infection. The fruit is low in calories as well. While purchasing packaged juice, be aware of its sugar content.
Green Beans: A half-cup serving of green beans can help you meet 2% of the daily value of iodine. Green beans are a great source of folate, vitamin B, C, protein and potassium as well. It provides nearly 40% of the daily value of folate and 53% of the daily value of fiber, which protects the colon and flushes the amount of toxins from it.
Pineapple: Pineapple is also a good source of iodine. It contains a range of vitamins, minerals and bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme used for the treatment of autoimmune disorder. Pineapple also acts as an anticoagulant, lowering the blood pressure.
Rhubarb: Rhubarb has been used since the 3rd century BC for its medicinal properties. It is one of the best sources of iodine. In addition, it also provides calcium, manganese, copper, iron, phosphorus, and zinc. Its roots contain anthraquinone, a stimulant laxative used for relieving constipation.
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. Cruciferous vegetables are also known for their anti-cancer effects. The anti-cancer benefits of watercress arise from the high levels of antioxidants present in it. Watercress also provides a wide range of vitamins and other nutrients. You can use this versatile vegetable in green salad, pasta or soups for a subtle peppery flavour.
I hope you found this post helpful and enjoyed reading it. If you did please Like, Share and Subscribe. Also, if you would like me to post any topic you interested at, let me know by commenting below.
I’ll be attending vegan event in London 21st and 22st October If you there don’t be shy to come and say hi :).
I have something very healthy and tasty for you in my next blog :). Stay tuned my lovely readers.