The Importance of Iodine To A Vegan Diet

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The quick answer is yes, iodine insufficiency negatively impacts your health. Iodine is crucial for healthy thyroid function, mental health, and fetal growth and development. The thyroid requires iodine to create hormones T3 and T4 and regulate metabolism. It is vitally important for women to take in a sufficient amount of iodine during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Iodine helps the brain to develop in a fetus properly. It is also recommended that a child take iodine to continue healthy brain development. Iodine insufficiency can lead to subclinical hypothyroidism, cognitive problems, and a higher risk of breast cancer. It is important to take the right amount of iodine. Too much iodine develop into other health problems. Visit your doctor to get your iodine levels checked.

Who Is Most Likely To Be Iodine Deficient?

Overall a higher amount of people are becoming iodine deficient because they aren’t consuming foods that contain iodine. It is recommended that the genal population should get a blood test to find out if they are deficient in iodine or other nutrients. Vegans are especially at risk for iodine deficiency. Plants generally contain a very low amount of iodine. Seaweed does contain iodine but the amount of iodine contained in seaweed varies by types. But it is very important to monitor iodine levels when eating a lot of seaweed because too much iodine can cause thyroid problems. Pregnant women and Paleo dieters are also at risk for iodine insufficiency.

Why Vegans Are Iodine Deficient

Though the U. S government instituted an iodine fortification program in the 1920s by adding iodine to table salt, more people are now becoming iodine deficient. The two main ways for people to get iodine in their diet is by consuming iodized table salt and through dairy products. Dairy does not naturally contain iodine but iodine does come from the iodophor a cleaner that sterilizes the milk tanks and iodine is added to cow feed. This iodine then passed into the dairy products. Eggs also contain a small amount of iodine. Vegans who don’t consume dairy products or eggs are usually susceptible to iron deficiency. Additionally, some plants like broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, and swiss chard impede the absorption of iodine by the thyroid. So vegans that are consuming enough iodine may still not absorbing all of the iodine that their bodies need. 

Taking An Iodine Supplement Versus Consuming Iodized Salt

Consuming iodized salt is a good way for a vegan to get some iodine into their system but drastically increasing the amount of sodium can negatively affect health. Instead, eat a small amount of iodized salt with meals and add another source of iodine like seaweed in moderation and add some 12.5mg Vegan Iodine Tablet Supplements to maintain adequate iodine levels.

Stay Monitored By Your Doctor

The best way to ensure that you remain healthy and aren’t deficient in any vitamins or minerals is to get your blood tested by your doctor. If your doctor lets you know that your iodine is low. Have your doctor monitor your consumption of iodine to make sure you are getting enough iodine and that you aren’t getting too much.

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