“Over 90% of the U.S. population is iodine deficient,” according to recent FDA publications. You may be thinking, “I can’t even pronounce iodine, so why do I care?” But the truth is you should care a great deal.
PSA: The body does not produce iodine, & that’s a problem
The body does not produce iodine, which means iodine must be part of your diet. This essential mineral helps make thyroid hormones, which are hormones that control the body’s metabolism and other vital functions. If iodine is not part of your diet, the thyroid hormones that help growth and development suffer.
Still not convinced that iodine should be as prevalent in your diet as vitamin C? Consider the following facts:
- “Iodine deficiency in pregnancy is a worldwide problem and has become a global public health concern since it is identified as the leading cause of preventable brain damage in newborns and infants due to inadequate intake by mothers and infants.”
- “Hypothyroidism, thyroid gland enlargement (goiter), and weight gain are other conditions that may result from too little iodine in the diet.”
- “Many pregnant women in the U.S. continue to have insufficient iodine intakes, especially those who have low intakes of dairy, seafood, and iodized salt.”
- “Brain damage, cretinism, mental retardation, and other conditions are additional risks” of insufficient iodine intake.
A small amount of iodine is needed daily since the body cannot store it in large quantities. You may be thinking, “But I eat french fries as if my life depends on it, so I’m all set!” Once again, those fries are letting your health down because “the salt used in processed foods, which is the major source of salt for most Americans, typically does not contain iodine.” Another example of processed foods that “almost never contain iodized salt” is canned soups. If a processed food contains iodine, you’ll see it listed as an ingredient.
Where to Find This Holy Grail of Minerals
Here is where you can find iodine:
- Fish, seaweed, shrimp, and other seafood
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
- Grain products (breads, cereals, etc.)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Iodized salt
- Supplements like Nascent Iodine Advanced
- And Healthline specifically adds eggs, prunes, and lima beans to that list
National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend the following daily intake, given in micrograms:
- Birth to 6 months – 110 mcg
- Infants 7-12 months – 130 mcg
- Children 1-8 years – 90 mcg
- Children 9-13 years – 120 mcg
- Teens 14-18 years – 150 mcg
- Adults – 150 mcg
- Pregnant teens & women – 220 mcg
- Breastfeeding teens & women – 290 mcg
Like most good things, too much or too little is not ideal. Pay attention to your daily iodine intake, add a supplement like Nascent Iodine Advanced if you feel your diet needs an iodine boost, and never underestimate the power of fueling your body the best you possibly can.
Author: Evelyn Lindell
Certified Health & Wellness Coach