Posted by Nicole on March 26, 2014

Iodine's got an important part to play in the function of your thyroids, but that's not the only benefit that it has for your health. Much like calcium and magnesium, iodine can be found in many different food sources. 

We commonly notice it as an additive to our table salt, but it's also found in any plants or animals that we farm and harvest from the seas and oceans.

How Iodine Helps Us

Iodine is so essential to the thyroid’s functions that 60% of any that you have in your body is stored inside of the thyroid gland. Without iodine, thyroidal hormones couldn't even be produced. Issues like fatigue, weight gain, trouble sleeping, and irregular periods in women may all be a sign of a lack of iodine in the diet. 

An easy way to supplement this is to add iodine to commonly used foods and ingredients, as is the case with table salt that has been enhanced with iodine. Here are a few of the more iodine-rich foods that you can buy at any grocery store and include in your diet:

  • Seafood. Almost every variety of seafood, from halibut, to canned tuna, to shellfish, has healthy servings of iodine for your diet.
  • Garlic is a great source of iodine and provides many other health benefits.
  • Bread often has iodine, as it helps to stabilize the dough.
  • Greens like turnip greens, Swiss chard, and spinach. Not only can they provide you with iodine, but they also add fiber to help regulate your bowel functions.

Other Benefits of Iodine 

Iodine can also help you by:

  • Increasing your metabolic rate by boosting your thyroid. That means increased weight management or weight loss.
  • Providing immune system support. Like selenium, iodine can work to fight agaisnt free radicals in the system, and increase the activity of antioxidants already present in your body.
  • Giving you shinier, stronger hair and nails. Iodine's an important part of skin, hair, and teeth growth. It reinforces your hair follicles, to keep them from thinning or breaking frequently.

With its benefits to hormonal regulation, and its importance in prenatal diets, it's no wonder that iodine is considered such an essential mineral in the human diet for men and women of all ages.