In which foods do we find the trace element Iodine and what are its benefits for our body?

Poached eggs - Corfu recipe 'bath Maria' - Photo By Thanasis Bounas
Poached eggs - Corfu recipe 'bath Maria' - Photo By Thanasis Bounas

Iodine is primarily found in foods derived from the ocean due to the high iodine content in seawater.

Some common sources of iodine include:

Seafood: Seaweed (such as kelp, nori, and wakame), fish (such as cod, tuna, and shrimp), and shellfish (such as shrimp, lobster, and crab) are rich sources of iodine.

Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt can contain significant amounts of iodine, particularly if the cows were fed iodine-rich feed or if iodine-based disinfectants are used in dairy farming.

Eggs: Eggs can contain iodine, especially if the hens’ diet is supplemented with iodine.

Iodized salt: In many countries, salt is fortified with iodine to prevent iodine deficiency disorders. Using iodized salt in cooking and food preparation is a common way to ensure adequate iodine intake.

Fortified foods: Some processed foods, such as bread, cereals, and certain beverages, may be fortified with iodine to help prevent iodine deficiency.

Benefits of iodine for the body include:

Thyroid hormone synthesis: Iodine is a crucial component of thyroid hormones, such as thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are essential for regulating metabolism, growth, and development throughout the body.

Metabolism: Thyroid hormones, which require iodine for their synthesis, help regulate the body’s metabolic rate, influencing energy expenditure and the utilization of nutrients.

Brain development: Adequate iodine intake is particularly important during pregnancy and early childhood, as thyroid hormones play a critical role in brain development and cognitive function.

Regulation of body temperature: Thyroid hormones help regulate body temperature by influencing metabolic processes.

Reproductive health: Iodine is important for normal reproductive function in both men and women.

Maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and nails: Thyroid hormones influenced by iodine play a role in the maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and nails.

Iodine deficiency can lead to various health problems, including goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland), hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), and developmental abnormalities such as cretinism in severe cases. Conversely, excessive iodine intake can also have adverse effects on thyroid function. Therefore, it’s important to consume iodine within recommended levels to maintain optimal health. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iodine varies depending on factors such as age, sex, and pregnancy/lactation status.

Poached eggs - Corfu recipe 'bath Maria' - Photo By Thanasis Bounas
Poached eggs – Corfu recipe ‘bath Maria’ – Photo By Thanasis Bounas




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