Food For Thought
Feel fine with Iodine
By: Leanne Ely
Iodine has come up from time to time in articles I’ve shared here, and today I’m going to really dig into why we need it.
Now, as far as minerals go, iodine isn’t the most popular kid on the bus, but that doesn’t mean it’s not essential for our bodies to function properly.
We need iodine for our thyroid gland to produce the hormone thyroxine. Thyroxine plays a major role in regulating our metabolic rate. Without thyroxine, the body releases a thyroid-stimulating hormone, which leads to an enlargement of the thyroid. This enlargement can cause all kinds of problems from fatigue and weight gain to low body temperature and even the potential formation of a goiter. Nobody wants that.
Prevent an iodine deficiency
Adults over the age of 14 need 150 mcg of iodine daily. Here’s a breakdown for other age groups:
• For babies under 6 months of age, 110 mcg of iodine is the daily recommendation, while babies from 7 months to one year of age need 130 mcg daily
• Between the ages of 1 and 8, the daily recommended amount of iodine is 90 mcg
• From ages 9-13 it’s recommended that 120 mcg be consumed every day
• Pregnant women need more iodine to help that developing baby, roughly 220 mcg daily, while nursing mothers need 290 mcg per day
So how do you get that iodine?
It’s not difficult, really, especially if you like to season your food with salt. Our bodies do not naturally make iodine, but we can get most of our iodine easily from regular old iodized salt which contains 95 mcg per 1/4 tsp. Now, please note that I do not recommend eating table salt. I would suggest finding a good, full spectrum salt like my beloved Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt. Any unprocessed sea salt will do, because all the minerals and goodness haven’t been processed out of them. Tip: the dirtier the salt looks in color, the closer to its natural state it is.
Because sea water is so salty, ocean fish and sea vegetables are another way to boost your body’s amount of iodine. A single serving of fish often contains up to 650 mcg of iodine.
Don’t overdo it
Too much iodine consumption can cause problems much like an iodine deficiency can, so don’t exceed recommended upper intake levels.
Maximum daily safe amounts are as follows:
• Nursing women older than 19: 1,100 mcg
• Nursing women between ages 14 and 18: 900 mcg
• Adults over the age of 19 (including during pregnancy): 1,100 mcg
• 14-18 years old (including during pregnancy): 900 mcg
• 9-13 years old: 600 mcg
• 4-8 years old: 300 mcg
• 1-3 years old: 900 mcg
• Under 1 year: no upper level has been set
So there you have it. Even the less well-known minerals play an essential function in the body. Any other minerals or vitamins you’d like to see profiled here? Let us know on our Facebook page!