The thyroid gland produces important hormones that regulate the body's metabolic rate. In order to produce these hormones, we need adequate amounts of the trace mineral iodine, which is present, in varying amounts, in rocks, seawater and soil. Inadequate dietary intake of iodine can lead to hypothyroidism and its associated symptoms, such as fatigue and weight gain.
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Seafood offers a rich source of iodine, particularly if you consume it twice a week. However, some types of fish contain high levels of mercury, which is potentially toxic, especially for unborn babies. Haddock, salmon, sardines and herring are among those varieties that contain the lowest levels of mercury, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Plant, Meat and Dairy Sources
Edible seaweed, such as kelp, is a particularly rich source of iodine, as are grains, cereal crops and vegetables when they are grown in iodine-rich soil. According to Vegan Health, "Food grown near the ocean tends to be higher in iodine" because soil in coastal areas is often richer in the nutrient than those found inland or at higher aItitudes. Meat and dairy products also offer healthy doses of iodine, especially if the animals graze in iodine-rich pastures or eat an iodine-rich diet.
Iodised table salt is also a good source of iodine, while sea salt does not. The Iodine Network recommends storing iodised salt "in a tightly closed container to protect it from humidity and sunlight, which can destroy the iodine."
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