Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Micro-minerals : Iodine

Micro-minerals, like minerals, are organic elements present in the soil. Plants absorb them from their growth medium. We need even smaller amounts of each micro-mineral in our diet, but they are just as essential to maintain all nerve and muscle function, teeth, bones and body cells. Micro-minerals are insoluble in water and need to be bonded with a soluble compound before they can be properly utilised. That is why foods are the very best sources.


Functions of Iodine:
  • Necessary for thyroid function
  • Controls the basal metabolic rate
  • Needed for growth and development
  • Aids in reproduction and lactation
  • Important for mental alertness and cognitive function
  • Helps metabolize excess fat
Sources of Iodine:
  • Seafood
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Watercress
  • Kelp
  • Iodized salt
Deficiency symptoms:
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Cold extremities
  • Easy weight gain
  • Impaired immune system
  • Goiter
  • Cretinism

Inorganic elements are not destroyed by heat. Some cooking methods may break down mineral-rich substances, and release the mineral into the product: such as in the canning of fish – bones (salmon, pilchards, sardines) are softened releasing calcium into the flesh.

Supplements are usually unnecessary provided the diet includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements of any kind. An excess of any vitamin, mineral or micro-mineral can have unpleasant side effects.


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