People who live far from the sea are constantly feeling iodine deficiency. This is due to the diet, it is scarce in seafood. And the lack of iodine in the body is dangerous to health and can provoke many diseases. However, do not be upset, the deficit can be replenished not only through nutritional supplements, but also by correcting the diet.
Humanity has known about iodine as a trace element for more than 200 years. Today, there are many scientifically proven evidence of the importance of this substance for the human body. Scientists managed to establish a close relationship between the amount of iodine in the body and some diseases.
Why iodine should be included in the diet
Iodine is the main constituent of thyroid hormones, namely triiodothyronine and thyroxine. A fairly wide range of diseases is associated with a lack of iodine in the diet. In childhood, such a deficiency is dangerous by the development of cretinism, the appearance of disorders in mental development. However, the difficulty lies in the fact that the lack of iodine proceeds quietly, this condition is also called “latent hunger”.
Iodine is present in all plants and living organisms. In the human body, it contains from 12 to 20 mg. Thanks to this macronutrient, a person can maintain their mental and physical condition in normal conditions. It helps to keep the emotional state in good shape, helps to normalize the work of the cardiovascular system, and enhances metabolic processes. If iodine is enough for the body, then a person has a strong immune system, he practically does not catch a cold.
It is especially important for pregnant women to maintain the amount of iodine in the body at a normal level. If the substance is not enough, then a miscarriage may occur. The risks of all sorts of pathologies in the unborn baby are greatly increased, complications may arise during childbirth.
Why is iodine so important?
First of all, iodine is responsible for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. It is this organ that is responsible for tissue multiplication. If there is not enough substance, then problems begin with metabolism, appearance, hair. Obesity and atherosclerosis often develop.
Most of the world’s population lives far from the sea and ocean coasts. Rain clouds that form over the sea also reach not far inland. For this reason, people living in remote areas from the coast suffer from iodine deficiency. They are residents of most of Russia, Pakistan, Central Asia, Africa and the Alps.
But there are countries where the situation is slightly different. For example, in Bangladesh, the lack of iodine is felt due to the fact that there are many floods in the country and iodine is washed out of the soil, hence the vegetables and fruits that are poor in its content.
Iodine dosage recommendations
It is considered to be a normal daily dose of 50-200 mcg of iodine. However, this is such an average rate that it should not be adhered to.
Most of all, the need for iodine in pregnant women, they need 200 mg. Adults and healthy people need 150 mcg, and babies only 50 mcg. With age, the need increases, a child from 2 to 6 years old needs 90 mcg, children under 12 years old – 120 mcg.
However, it should always be remembered that the daily dose must be calculated individually, depending on the age, state of health, and weight of the person.
Iodine deficiency symptoms
The main symptoms of iodine deficiency include:
- Increased emotionality. The person becomes irritable, he has problems with memory. Other people note that they constantly want to sleep and feel sluggish, their reactions are all inhibited. Depression constantly torments.
- Puffiness. This is another of the most characteristic symptoms. Puffiness can occur anywhere: under the eyes, on the legs or arms. And if a person takes diuretics, then the swelling only increases.
- In the female half of humanity, a lack of iodine leads to the appearance of gynecological problems. Cracks in the nipples, menstrual irregularities may appear. As a result – the early onset of menopause.
- Cardiological problems. The most common problem is arrhythmia, blood pressure can be greatly reduced, and later, if the situation is not corrected, atherosclerosis can develop.
Another symptom of iodine deficiency is low hemoglobin. At the same time, the situation cannot be improved even with the help of drug therapy.
But even if there are no such serious symptoms yet, then you can understand about the presence of a problem by the following signs:
- a rash on the skin with pustules;
- drastic weight loss;
- constantly agitated state;
- pain in the joints;
- runny nose.
Any of these symptoms, which are troubling for a long time, should be a reason to see a doctor.
An interesting fact was established by scientists from the Norwegian Institute. It turned out that vegans and vegetarians are more susceptible to iodine deficiency .
Lack and excess of iodine
An excess of iodine in the body is no less dangerous for the human body than its lack. Most often, excess manifests itself in the form of the development of hyperthyroidism. With this pathology, the enlargement of the thyroid gland is not so strong. However, if left untreated, excess iodine can lead to Graves’ disease. Against the background of the disease, muscle weakness, sweating appears, and diarrhea develops. Against the background of a strong acceleration of metabolism, the patient is rapidly losing weight. Depigmentation may appear in certain areas of the skin.
Lack of iodine can be associated with stomach problems. Against the background of some diseases, the digestibility of the substance decreases. To avoid this, you need to monitor your diet.
Nutritional rules for hyperthyroidism
The main danger of hypothyroidism is that, due to the disease, the process of hormone production begins to slow down, as a result, a slowdown in metabolism begins. Therapy of the disease is carried out not only with the help of medicines, but also with the help of nutritional correction.
During treatment, a complete rejection of alcohol and cigarettes is assumed. You will have to give up any food that is difficult to digest. The diet reduces the number of foods high in cholesterol and fatty acids. You will also have to give up fast carbohydrates.
You will have to completely abandon:
- dairy first courses;
- fatty meats;
- hot spices and sauces;
- smoked meats;
- any sausages and wieners;
- carbonated drinks;
- packaged juices, nectars;
- strong coffee.
The diet must include sea fish, fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you correctly formulate the diet and follow all the recommendations of the attending physician, then the production of thyrocalcitonin can be completely normalized. So when diagnosing hyperthyroidism, lean on fish, especially marine species. Eat meat, fruits, and eggs. Do not forget about vegetables, which help to assimilate incoming iodine. Drink water, but not carbonated water, it is better to completely give up coffee and strong tea.
It is also recommended to eat food 5-6 times, reduce the amount of salt to 8-9 g per day. Try to skip dishes that are cooked in a pan.
Iodine rich foods
The absolute leader in terms of iodine content is sea kale, per 100 g of the product there are as many as 300 mcg, that is, even eating 50 g of cabbage per day, you can fully replenish the daily intake.
Nori sheets are also very high in iodine, although they are a component of purely Japanese cuisine. You can also use pharmacy kelp, it will saturate the body not only with iodine, but also allow you to get rid of extra pounds and reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.
There is as much iodine in dried white mushrooms as in seaweed – 300 mcg. To replenish iodine in the body, you should pay attention to squid, they contain as much as 200 mcg. In shrimp – 110 mcg, and in cod and hake – 135 mcg. In sea bass and salmon from 50 to 60 mcg. And in chicken yolk – 33 mcg.
To maintain normal iodine levels in the body, it is also recommended to consume:
- millet porridge;
- white cabbage;
- buckwheat porridge;
It is useful to eat nuts and dried fruits. Dry and low-fat milk contains as much as 55 mcg of iodine. But it is better to add it to dishes, since iodine evaporates after heat treatment.
On the other hand, the iodine content of food products largely depends on the soil in which the plants are grown. If the soil is “healthy” and rich in iodine, then vegetables and fruits will be rich in this element.
One of the most common questions is how effective is the use of iodized salt? Indeed, salt allows you to slightly enrich dishes with iodine, but it must be understood that the longer such salt is stored, the more iodine evaporates in it. This salt must be protected from direct sunlight and must not be stored in a humid environment.
The second pressing question – will iodized water help? According to the manufacturer’s assurances, the water contains from 1 to 42.3 μg of iodine per 1 dm3. Such water has no taste or smell; it must be stored in a container that protects the liquid from light.
Now on sale you can find bread, milk and butter, additionally saturated with iodine. But, nevertheless, the use of such products is recommended to be coordinated with a doctor so as not to harm your health. It should also be borne in mind that for the normal assimilation of iodine by the thyroid gland, vitamin A is needed.