Health Articles

The Iodine Story: Why You Need It

Foods that contain iodine – Food is often considered as energy. This notion is partly true. When considering one aspect of food, the macronutrients, then yes, food is energy.


Foods That Contain Iodine


Macronutrients comprise the bulk of the organic material you consume.


Carbs, fats, and protein are all classified as macronutrients, providing fuel for metabolic function.


But there is another aspect of food. Foods that contain iodine one which isn’t used as fuel, the micronutrients.


What is iodine used for, these are your vitamins and minerals, and although they don’t serve as fuel, they are crucial to the energy production process.


That’s because they are vital raw materials for many of the systems and structures that are both inputs and outputs of your metabolic activity.


One such micronutrient is the mineral iodine.



What Iodine Does For You


Iodine is very important for healthy thyroid function.


Foods That Contain Iodine


Without it, this hormone system would collapse.


We will go more into how iodine affects the thyroid later.


Iodine is also important for your immune system, nervous system development, and bone health, to name a few.


So it’s pretty apparent that iodine is essential, but what happens when you don’t get enough of it?


Iodine Deficiency


What is iodine used for, Iodine deficiency has an obvious negative impact on your health when you consider the importance of the thyroid.


One symptom often attributed to thyroid disruption due to iodine deficiency is unexpected weight gain.


This happens because the thyroid hormone has a huge hand in metabolic function. When supply diminishes due to a lack of iodine, the metabolism slows, causing weight gain.


Foods That Contain Iodine


Chronic fatigue and feeling weak are also indicators of iodine deficiency and its effect on metabolism.


Other symptoms include hair loss, dry skin, cognitive dysfunction, and one big sign is the appearance of goiter.


Goiter is a swelling of the neck which is a telltale sign of severe iodine deficiency.



Dietary Sources Of Iodine


Foods That Contain Iodine


Iodine can be supplemented, but supplements should only come as a second option.


Your primary source of iodine should be dietary.


Iodine happens to be one of those minerals that are often stripped from food through processing, foods that contain iodine, leaving few foods as a naturally occurring source.


Here’s a quick list to get your up to speed:


  • Iodized table salt
  • Seaweed
  • Cod
  • Some cheeses
  • Fortified foods.


Most people get their iodine from fortified foods, but it’s always a better idea to try and aim for the foods that have a natural abundance of it foods that contain iodine.


In this article, we’re going to provide some insight as to why exactly you should be getting your iodine requirements were met.



5 Major Roles and Benefits of Iodine


Thyroid Function


Foods That Contain Iodine


Thyroid hormone production is the main focus of iodine in the body.


Up to 80% of the iodine you consume is taken up by the thyroid gland.


Here, Iodine plays a role in converting thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH into triiodothyronine and thyroxine, T3 and T4 respectively.


This process is what sets up the healthy thyroid function your body requires for a myriad of applications.



Immune System


Foods That Contain Iodine


One such application is the immune response.


The impact your thyroid has on your metabolism, in turn, has an impact on the function of your immune system.


This complex system requires a delicate internal balance in the form of your homeostatic state, controlled by the thyroid.


It also requires a large energy input which is another aspect the thyroid has a hand in with regards to your metabolism.



Female Reproductive Health


Foods That Contain Iodine


The female reproductive system is heavily reliant on a healthy thyroid balance.


The internal conditions necessary to maintain fertility, successfully conceive and then carry out a healthy term of pregnancy are all thyroid reliant and therefore iodine dependent.


Iodine e=deficiency during pregnancy may stunt growth of the fetus and lead to poor brain development.


It is crucial for a pregnant woman to get enough iodine, after all, she’s eating for at least two.



Cognitive Function


Foods That Contain Iodine


Your brain is an energy pit, you probably use most of your metabolic energy yield for brain function.


Suffice to say, a decline in thyroid activity can lead to a decline in metabolic energy yield which has a direct impact on your brain and central nervous system (CNS).


This problem manifests as a decline in cognitive efficiency, with one key indicator being poor memory retention.


That’s because the thyroid has an influence on the hippocampus, the learning and memory center of the brain.



Poor Homeostatic Regulation


Foods That Contain Iodine


We mentioned that one of the roles of the thyroid and its hormone output was the maintenance of the body’s self-regulating system, also known as homeostasis.


Homeostasis is fueled by metabolic output and it turns acts as its regulator.


Think of the gas pedal in your car. Your car needs fuel (metabolism) in order for the gas pedal (homeostasis)  to have any use, and in turn, the gas pedal controls the amount of fuel and thus the speed at which the car moves.


This is the concept of homeostatic regulation.


When you suffer an iodine deficiency, the effects can include an abnormal sensitivity to cold as the result of poor thermogenesis.





Iodine is vital, there’s no doubt about that. Most people in the US aren’t exposed to iodine deficiency since it is present in most forms of table salt and table salt is abundant, if not excessive in the average western diet.


If you feel you have been exposed to deficiency, visit a doctor first before trying to implement any of the tips and ideas we may have shared with you.




Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *