If you’re like most people, you think of salt when you hear the word iodine. Unfortunately, this has given iodine a bad rap in most people’s minds. After all, common dietary wisdom tells you that salt is bad, and every time you use salt you look at that “iodized” label.
This has led to a serious problem with iodine deficiency in the United States. You may be surprised to find out that iodine is the single most important nutrient for your brain. It is even more crucial for those with developing brains, including young children and babies. Learn more about iodine and how you can make sure you’re getting the recommended daily intake.
What is Iodine?
Iodine is a crucial mineral that your body uses for a number of functions. It plays a big role in the functioning of the thyroid system, so chronic iodine deficiency can lead to underproduction of thyroid hormones. If you are constantly tired or have difficulty losing weight, your iodine intake may be to blame.
Most people get their daily iodine from their diet. It is recommended that adults get 150 micrograms per day, but statistically, the vast majority of adults do not hit this level. This is due to changing diets and health fads.
The Role of Iodine in Brain Health
Perhaps the most important job of iodine is to help your brain grow, stay healthy, and fight off age-related neurological problems. Iodine plays a particularly essential role in the development of the the fetal brain, which goes through a massive amount of change in just 40 weeks.
For pregnant women, it is absolutely necessary to meet the daily recommended intake of iodine. Babies born to mothers who take iodine supplements tend to have better cognitive development and higher IQ levels.
Though it is better to get your iodine from food sources than a supplement, many dietary agencies are coming out to recommend supplements. This is because iodine deficiency is such a chronic problem, particularly among women, that a supplement may make it easier for many adults to resolve their deficiencies.
Getting the Iodine Your Brain Needs
Everyone wants to keep their brain as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Boosting your iodine intake can go a long way in making this happen.
Seafood and dairy are the two biggest sources of iodine. This is why it is such a common problem in the United States and many other Western countries. Seafood is not a staple of the American diet. Furthermore, a number of popular diets recommend cutting out dairy entirely, removing the other major source of iodine.
You can also get the iodine your body needs through iodized salt. However, too much salt can have a negative impact on your health, so make sure you get some of your iodine from other sources. These are some good foods to add to your diet, listed with their iodine content:
- Yogurt: 60mcg
- Milk: 60mcg
- Roast beef: 16.2mcg
- Boiled eggs: 54mcg
- Mussels: 69mcg
- Sushi: 37mcg