Iodine is one of minerals essential to the body. It’s found in earth’s crust, but its best source is in the sea. Our body requires it for several reasons, the main one being for our thyroid gland function.
Iodine deficiency was something common in the past, but since now most table salt has been iodized, and processed food uses tons of it, people following a standard American diet are not likely to be iodine deficient. But ironically, super conscious eater who avoid all processed foods and uses only unrefined sea salt may be at risk. Sea salt does contain trace amounts of iodine, but this source alone is not sufficient. That doesn’t mean you should go back to processed food. Instead, be sure to ad to your diet iodine rich foods, like seaweed, seafood, eggs, milk or strawberries.
There’s another thing that can make you at risk. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bok choy, collard greens, radishes, turnips, kale, millet, soy, spinach pine nuts, pears, peaches, sweet potatoes, peanuts and bamboo shoots all contains a substance that, when eaten raw, can prevent iodine absorption. People with poor intakes of selenium, vitamin A and iron may be at even greater risk.
Symptoms of a mild iodine deficiency include weight gain, sluggishness, fatigue, fuzzy brain and cold extremities. Those symptoms are very similar to those sometimes described as detox symptoms that come with a restrictive diet such as the vegan raw diet. So if you’re going to try a raw vegan diet, it would be a good idea to monitor your iodine intake carefully.
Do you know your general iodine intake? Does your diet include sea vegetables? Do you think you could be at risk?