Iodine is a chemical element that is essential for the proper functioning of the body. Iodine should be included in every person’s diet.
Its natural source in food is fish. Iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism, goiter, physical and mental retardation. These are serious health problems that require long-term treatment.
Characteristics and properties of iodine
Iodine is involved in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Almost eighty percent of this element is located in the thyroid gland, the rest is localized in the ovaries, bones and blood. This element contributes to the production of hormones – thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones affect the functioning of the nervous, muscular and cardiovascular systems.
People who live near the sea are in a better position, because the soils in these places are very rich in iodine, due to which the plants grown there contain it in significant quantities. But the farther from coastal areas, the less this element in the soil and in the air.
Some studies have shown that there is a great need for mandatory salt iodization, since some regions cannot provide their residents with sufficient amounts of this element in water or food.
The body’s need for iodine
This need depends on the age and physiological state of the person. Babies under 6 months of age need 40 micrograms of iodine per day. Infants 7 to 12 months – 50 mcg.
According to the latest recommendations, children aged 1-6 years need 90 micrograms of iodine, children 7-9 years old need 100 micrograms, boys and girls aged 10-12 years old need 120 micrograms per day, and young people aged 13-18 years old need 100 micrograms of iodine. 150 micrograms of iodine.
Adults need 160 micrograms of iodine per day. The need increases during pregnancy and lactation. Pregnant women are recommended to take 220 micrograms of iodine daily, and nursing mothers – 290 micrograms of this element.
This element is missing
This deficiency can lead to many health complications. What people consume significantly affects the endocrine system, including the thyroid gland. If the diet is poor in iodine, then serious disorders in the endocrine system can occur.
Endemic goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. People with this condition have a noticeable swelling at the base of the neck. This problem affects both women and men. The most common cause of this health problem is insufficient levels of iodine in our diet.
There are foods that interfere with the absorption of the aforementioned substance. Such foods that suppress the production of thyroid hormones include all types of cabbage. For this reason, the inclusion of cabbage in the diet is not recommended for people with iodine deficiency.
Iodine deficiency can cause mental and physical retardation in children, as well as reduced learning ability. In adults, iodine deficiency can contribute to fertility problems, miscarriage, or problems maintaining a pregnancy.
Hypothyroidism is associated with significant hormone deficiency. This problem can manifest itself as constant fatigue, problems with concentration and memory, lack of energy, joint and muscle pain, brittle nails, frequent respiratory infections, hair loss, problems with the immune system. In extreme situations, iodine deficiency can lead to death. The iodine contained in food is easily absorbed, which allows you to compensate for any shortcomings and protect yourself from serious consequences.
The easiest way to compensate for the lack of iodine is to eat a healthy diet. Foods rich in iodine mainly include marine fish (cod, pollock, tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring, flounder, rainbow trout). Dairy products (roquefort cheese, edam cheese and brie cheese) contain a significant dose of iodine.
People who want to add iodine to their diet should also consume cereals, including wheat bran, oatmeal, rye flakes. Foods high in iodine are yeast, algae, and water from areas rich in this element. Vegetables with the highest iodine content include broccoli and spinach.
Prevention of thyroid diseases
Prevention of thyroid diseases lies precisely in the delivery of iodine. To do this, you often need to eat sea fish and seafood. Marine fish also contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Iodine can also be found in foods grown in soil rich in this element.
As a preventive measure, mandatory iodization of table salt and mixtures that replace milk for infants is used. Other foods are often iodized as well. Animal feed is also iodized. As already mentioned, some foods, such as Brussels sprouts, white cabbage, and cauliflower, reduce iodine absorption. It is best to use them boiled, then the content of unfavorable substances will decrease by 30 percent.
Although there is little risk of iodine overdose, iodine preparations should only be taken after consultation and under medical supervision.
Use bath salt solution
Salt bath solution is another way to make up for the lack of iodine. Salt solution is nothing but water containing salt and iodine. It abounds in minerals important for the body, for this reason it is worth resorting to this wellness procedure from time to time. To do this, add one glass of solution to the bath. Iodine is easily soluble in water, so it is perfectly absorbed into the skin. Bath salt solution nourishes, moisturizes, smoothes and firms our skin, reduces stretch marks (scars) or skin rashes.
Saline solution can work in different ways. For example, to expand the pores, due to which the body gets rid of harmful toxins, while simultaneously absorbing the mineral substances contained in the solution. It also protects the respiratory tract from infections. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, so it can be used for people with skin diseases such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, contact eczema, allergies.
If you need to supply your body with a large amount of iodine, then you do not need to go to the sea. It is enough to use a saline bath solution, as well as include foods rich in iodine in your diet. The use of saline solution in cold compresses has an anti-inflammatory effect. These cold compresses are especially recommended for bruises and bruises. Hot salt compresses have a calming and warming effect.