The thyroid gland synthesizes thyroid hormones and iodine is an essential trace mineral that is crucial for the thyroid to function properly. An adequate amount of iodine in your diet ensures the thyroid is able to manage metabolism, detoxification, growth and development.
Research has shown that a lack of dietary iodine may lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland, lethargy, fatigue, weakness of the immune system, slow metabolism, autism, weight gain and possibly even mental states such as anxiety and depression.
The good news is that there are many popular foods with iodine, all of which are easy to incorporate into your daily diet.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for iodine is 150 micrograms daily for everybody over the age of 14. The RDA for children ages 1-8 is 90/mcg every day, ages 9-13 is 120/mcg every day. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it is recommended that you get 290/mcg every day.
1. Sea Vegetables
The ocean hosts the largest storehouse of iodine foods, including Kelp, Arame, Hiziki, Kombu, and Wakame. Kelp has the highest amount of iodine of any food on the planet and just one serving offers 4 times the daily minimum requirement. 1 tablespoon of Kelp contains about 2000/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Arame contains about 730/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Hiziki contains about 780/mcg of iodine, 1 one inch piece of Kombu contains about 1450/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Wakame contains about 80/mcg of iodine. I recommend sprinkling these into soups or salads.
This antioxidant rich fruit is another great source of iodine. About 4 ounces of cranberries contain approximately 400/mcg of iodine. I recommend buying fresh organic berries or juice. If you buy cranberry juice from the store, be aware of how much sugar it contains.
3. Organic Yogurt
A natural probiotic, yogurt is an excellent iodine food you should add to your diet. One serving holds more than half of your daily needs. 1 cup contains approximately 90/mcg of iodine. Other than yogurt, here is a list of probiotic foods you should consider incorporating into your diet for added health benefits.
4. Organic Navy Beans
Many beans are a great food source of iodine and navy beans may top the list. Just 1/2 cup of these beans contain about 32/mcg of iodine. Beans aren’t just an iodine food, they are also incredibly high in fiber.
5. Organic Strawberries
This tasty red fruit packs up to 10% of your daily iodine needs in just a single serving. One cup of fresh strawberries has approximately 13/mcg of iodine. Try buying fresh, organic strawberries from your local farmer’s market, they do not disappoint!
6. Himalayan Crystal Salt
This form of salt, also known as gray salt, is an excellent source of naturally-occurring iodine. While many types of table salt are iodine-enriched, they are also stripped of all their natural health properties and are chemically processed. Just one gram of himalayan salt contains approximately 500/mcg of iodine.
7. Dairy Products
Milk and cheese are good sources of iodine, just one cup of milk holds around 55/mcg. To avoid many of the negative digestive effects of eating cow’s milk and cheese, I personally would recommend opting for raw organic goat’s milk and goat’s cheese; a healthier alternative for extracting iodine from dairy.
8. Potatoes with skin
The common potato is an easy addition to most meals and is one of the richest sources of iodine in the vegetable kingdom. Leave the skin on and one medium-sized baked potato holds 60/mcg of iodine.
9. Good foods stimulating thyroid tissue: Some foods and drinks have an opposite effect on the thyroid gland; that is, they stimulate thyroid function rather than suppressing it, examples being avocado and saturated fat.
If you’re not a fan of the iodine foods listed above, then you can always take an iodine supplement. There are many different types of iodine supplements on the market, so knowing the differences between each is vital. I recommend a transformative nano-colloidal detoxified nascent iodine supplement, which the body is quickly able to turn into its own effective mineral iodides for maximum absorption.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
Note: Avoid Bromine (new car, swimming pools, other products), toxic metals, and Goitrogenic (raw) foods, plants with pesticides and chemical sprays and hormone-feed animal meat/products.
Goitrogenic drugs and chemicals
Chemicals that have been shown to have goitrogenic effects include:
• Sulfadimethoxine, propylthiouracil, potassium perchlorate, and iopanoic acid.
• Some oxazolidines such as goitrin.
• Thiocyanate overload in Central Africa, especially if also in conjunction with selenium deficiency. Reliance on cassava as a carbohydrate provides a source of thiocyanate in some areas.
• Ions such as thiocyanate and perchlorate decrease iodide uptake by competitive inhibition and, as a consequence of reduced thyroxine and triiodothyronine secretion by the gland, cause, at low doses, an increased release of thyrotropin (by reduced negative feedback), which then stimulates the gland.
• Amiodarone inhibits peripheral conversion of thyroxine to triiodothyronine; also interferes with thyroid hormone action.
• Lithium inhibits thyroid hormone release.
• Phenobarbitone, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin induce metabolic degradation of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
Certain raw foods (cooking partially inactivates the goitrogens, except in the cases of soy and millet) have been identified as lightly goitrogenic. These foods include:
• Cassava and Cabbage both due to the foods containing thiocyanate
• Soybeans (and soybean products such as tofu, soybean oil, soy flour, soy lecithin)
o Other foods containing genistein have been implicated as interfering with thyroid peroxidase in laboratory rats.
• Pine nuts
• Bamboo shoots
• Sweet Potatoes
• Vegetables in the genus Brassica
o Bok choy
o Broccolini (Asparations)
o Brussels sprouts
o Chinese cabbage
o Choy sum
o Collard greens
o Kai-lan (Chinese broccoli)
o Mustard greens
o Rapeseed (yu choy)
o Rutabagas (swedes)
Thyroid hyperplasia has been demonstrated in mice:
Despite being generally a stimulant, caffeine acts on thyroid function as a suppressant. Indeed some studies on rats suggest that excess caffeine in conjunction with a lack of iodine may promote the formation of thyroid cancers.
You have all heard of how caffeine can be addictive. Did you know that caffeine has other negative effects as well? Caffeine activates the hormones cortisol, and epinephrine. These are stress hormones produced in the adrenals.
Small increases of cortisol and epineprhine can have positive effects such as energy bursts, heightened memory, and a lower sensitivity to pain. High levels for a prolonged duration can suppress thyroid function, decrease bone density and muscle tissue, imbalance blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia), increase blood pressure, increase abdominal fat, increase heart rate, slow digestion etc.
You would think that our endocrine system would release relaxation hormones in order to maintain homeostasis, but in a world of deadlines we often experience chronic stress; thus, keeping our cortisol and epinephrine levels quite elevated.
Adrenaline (epinephrine) increases heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. The liver responds to this by releasing glucose. This release in glucose causes sugar spikes, increasing your energy levels to create a caffeine “buzz”.
This activates your pleasure centers and contributes to caffeine addictions.
Caffeine leads to a crash because it exhausts the adrenals, fluctuates blood-sugar levels and depletes many vitamin and mineral stores (e.g. lowers the body’s ability to absorb iron and calcium). Eventually the adrenal glands become overworked and less able to respond to stress forcing your body to need more caffeine.
Medline Plus. Iodine. 2013 February 02 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/35.html