Iodine is an essential trace mineral vital to our health, and a key component for thyroid gland function. The purpose of the thyroid gland is to make, store and release thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) into the blood, which affects health on a cellular level. It also controls many metabolic processes of the body such as metabolism (this is where we convert stored energy to usable energy).When we are deficient in iodine it can affect our energy levels, metabolism, mood and overall growth and development.
Specific health benefits of iodine:
✓ Food, Mood and Energy: As previously mentioned, iodine influences hormone production which is responsible for controlling metabolic rate; this, in turn, affects how we digest and absorb the food we eat. When we efficiently use calories, we can maintain optimal energy levels and sleep cycles.
✓ Hair, Skin and Nails: Iodine facilitates the formation of healthy glowing skin and stronger nails. Moreover, it is important for hair care, speeding up its growth and strength.
✓ Hypothyroidism or Under-Active Thyroid Gland (the slowing down of all bodily processes): It has been found that iodine is important in cases of hypothyroidism or under-active thyroid as it stimulates hormonal activity and prevents common side effects such as weight gain, irritability, low body temperature and hair loss.
✓ Detoxification: Iodine does a great job at ridding toxic chemicals from the body, such as fluoride or heavy metals like lead and mercury. Iodine is also said to have antibacterial qualities, and is effective in working against H. Pylori, a bacterial infection of the stomach.
✓ Immune Health: It is believed that iodine does wonders for our immune system as it increases antioxidant activity throughout the body leaving less room for free radical damage; in this respect it would help defend against major illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
Keep in mind!
A healthy balance of iodine is required by the body but because we are all different it is best to speak with a health care professional about how much iodine you should be supplementing with to avoid iodine toxicity.
Excellent Food Sources of Iodine:
✓ Sea vegetables such as dulse and kelp, sea salts, shellfish, lobster, halibut, cod, salmon, tuna, herbs such as garlic and land vegetables such as Swiss chard, squash, spinach, turnip greens, soybeans and sesame seeds.