Iodine is a trace mineral needed for proper growth and development. This mineral is available in food sources like iodized salt, kelp, seafood and seawater fishes. Other good iodine rich foods are asparagus, garlic, lima beans, sesame seeds, soybeans, squash and turnip greens. It is also important to note the following foods which upon eaten raw, can inhibit iodine absorption: vegetables of the Brassica oleracea family, including spinach, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts; turnips and peaches. Iodine supplements may also provide a good source of this mineral, in addition to nascent iodine that’s readily absorbed and utilized by the body.
Iodine plays a crucial role in both physical and mental development. This mineral assists in normal healthy development of the brain and its mental processes. The lack of iodine can lead to mental retardation, fatigue and cretinism (neonatal hypothyroidism) in children.
Iodine also maintains a healthy thyroid gland by preventing goiter. Iodine intake largely affects underactivity or hyperactivity of the thyroid gland. Hence, iodine intake must be balanced to facilitate proper functions of the thyroid organ.
Iodine may also help in fat metabolism, hence its role in proper weight management. Little iodine intake can cause unhealthy weight gain.
Excessive iodine can cause a metallic taste, mouth sores, inflamed salivary glands, and digestive disturbances including diarrhea and vomiting. Meanwhile, iodine deficiency symptoms are comprised of weakness, fatigability and impaired growth and development.