Iodine is an essential mineral that the human body needs to function properly. It helps produce thyroid hormones, which controls important metabolic processes in your body. As such, iodine deficiency can cause problems with your metabolism, growth and development, and reproductive system.
In addition to its role in metabolism, iodine also plays a vital role in brain development. Studies have shown that children deficient in iodine are likelier to have lower IQs than children who do not suffer from a deficiency.
With insufficient iodine intake, people may experience fatigue, cold intolerance, constipation, dry skin, weight gain, menstrual irregularities in women, and goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland) in both men and women.
What Is Iodine?
Iodine is a mineral that’s crucial to your health. The body needs to produce thyroid hormones, and it’s also a key component of the hormone thyroxine, which plays an essential role in regulating metabolism.
Without it, we would have trouble regulating our metabolism. Our bodies would be unable to process energy from food and convert it into fuel for daily activities.
We would experience symptoms like muscle weakness and hair loss. Iodine is also found in many foods, so most people get enough in their diets. However, there are some groups of people who may be at risk of deficiency: those who are vegetarians or vegans.
Role Of Iodine In The Body
Iodine is a trace mineral that is essential for your body. It helps regulate your metabolism, which is how your body converts food into energy. The thyroid gland also needs iodine to function properly.Iodine is necessary for proper brain development in infants and children.
It also plays a role in preventing mental retardation and other developmental problems in children born to mothers who were deficient in iodine during pregnancy.
Iodine deficiency slows down physical growth in children and causes goiters in adults—an enlarged thyroid gland in the neck caused by an increase in hormone production by the thyroid gland.
Iodine deficiency also affects cognitive development in children because it decreases brain activity and affects attention span as well as memory formation.
How Much Iodine Is Required By Body
Iodine is an essential mineral required by the body for many functions, including thyroid hormone production. But how much iodine should you be getting?.The recommended daily intake of iodine is 150 micrograms (mcg) for adults over 14 years old and 120 mcg for children between 1 and 13 years old.
Why Vegans Should Look After Iodine
The vegan diet is incredibly healthy, but it can lack iodine. Iodine for vegans is one of the most important nutrients, as it’s essential for the production of thyroid hormones. These hormones play a role in brain development, metabolism, growth and development, and many other essential body functions.
When you’re vegan and don’t get enough iodine from your diet, you can suffer from an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), leading to weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, and hair loss. That’s why it’s so important for vegans to make sure they’re getting the right amount of this mineral!
Vegan Sources Of Iodine
It’s a common concern for vegans, who might not be getting as much of the mineral from their diets as omnivores. The good news is that there is plenty of vegan food rich in iodine —so many that you probably don’t need to worry about it!
Here are some plant sources of iodine to look at:
1. Dried Sea Vegetables
Dried sea vegetables like blue spirulina, green spirulina (check amino acid profile) are excellent sources of iodine. If you are someone who dislikes fishy smell then you can switch to spirulina supplements. Other than spirulina you can even have vegetables like nori or kelp.
You’ve probably seen all these vegetables at your local health food store or Asian market—they’re colorful and crunchy little bits of goodness. And they’re packed with vegan iodine sources.
They have more than 100 times as much iodine as most other vegetables, so they’re a great way to get your daily dose without relying on supplements or fortified foods. You can add them to stir-fries or salads for an easy way to up your intake of this vital mineral.
2. Fruit Plants High In Iodine
Fruit plants like Coconut water and nuts like almonds and walnuts are plants with iodine making them a smart choice for vegans looking to increase their intake without relying on supplements or iodized salt.
- Coconut water: is one of the best sources of iodine because it contains about 30 micrograms per cup. It’s also rich in potassium and magnesium, which can help balance your electrolytes.
- Nuts: Almonds and walnuts are high in iodine, with about 15 micrograms per ounce serving size. You could also try adding sea salt or seaweed snacks to your diet if you’re looking for more ways to get this mineral into your body!
3. Leafy Vegetables
Leafy vegetables like spinach are great places to hunt for iodine-rich vegan foods. A cup of cooked spinach contains close to 100 micrograms of iodine—that’s almost half of what you need for the whole day!
It’s also loaded with iron, vitamins A and C and folate, which helps prevent congenital disabilities when consumed during pregnancy.
4. Iodized Salt
Iodized salt is one of the diet’s most common sources of iodine. And as a vegan if you are getting question is iodized salt vegan? then the answer is absolutely yes. A single teaspoon contains roughly 75% of your daily recommended intake, so it’s good to add some to your food whenever possible.
Symptoms Of Iodine Deficiency
Iodine deficiency is a severe issue that can affect your health. It’s essential to understand the symptoms of iodine deficiency so you can take steps to correct them.
- Goiters- A goiter is a swelling in the thyroid gland that occurs when your body is not getting enough iodine.
- Weight Gain- Iodine plays an essential role in regulating metabolism and preventing weight gain. When you’re deficient in iodine, you may experience rapid weight gain.
- Hypothyroidism- Iodine deficiency can also cause hypothyroidism, which involves having an underactive thyroid gland.
- Hair Loss- Hair loss may occur when you’re deficient in iodine because it affects the growth rate of hair follicles on your scalp. This can lead to bald spots or thinning hair overall.
- Flaky Skin– Another symptom of iodine deficiency is flaky skin that develops around your neck and ears and other areas where there are sweat glands like your palms and feet if they aren’t adequately hydrated by drinking enough water each day (about eight glasses per day).
Vegan diets can be healthy—but they need to be carefully planned. Vegans are prone to be deficient to various nutrients like B12 (there are a lot vegan B12 supplements though), omega-3 fatty acids, etc. But one of the most important nutrients for vegans is iodine.
Iodine is an essential mineral that helps produce thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism and other bodily functions. The body needs iodine to make these hormones, but it cannot make enough, so vegans must get it from food sources but since food sources are limited you can support your diet through vegan iodine supplements as well.