For most of us, salt is salt, but when it comes to nutrition, the type of salt matters.
Iodized salt is one of the simplest ways to ensure you get enough iodine, a vital nutrient for health and development.
So what exactly is iodized salt and why do we need it? Iodized salt is table salt that has been fortified with iodine, an essential trace mineral. Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function and producing thyroid hormones in your body. These hormones are responsible for regulating metabolism, growth and development.
Without enough iodine, your thyroid can’t produce adequate amounts of these critical hormones. This can lead to an iodine deficiency and health issues like hypothyroidism or goiter. Using iodized salt is the easiest way to prevent iodine deficiency and the health problems that come with it. Just one teaspoon of iodized salt contains about 95 mcg of iodine, which is well over the recommended daily intake of 150 mcg.
Unless you have a medical reason to limit iodine, the easiest way to get this vital mineral in your diet is by using iodized table salt in your everyday cooking and baking.
Nutritional Benefits of Consuming Iodized Salt
Beyond regulating your thyroid, iodized salt provides other nutritional benefits.
Improved Brain Health
Iodine is essential for proper brain development and cognition. Consuming adequate iodine during pregnancy and breastfeeding helps ensure babies develop healthy brains. For adults, iodine helps maintain cognitive abilities as we age. Studies show iodine deficiency can lead to poor memory, mental slowing, and “brain fog.” Getting enough iodine from iodized salt may help support brain health and mental sharpness over your lifetime.
Strong Bones and Teeth
Iodine works with calcium and vitamin D to build strong bones and teeth. While calcium and vitamin D often get the spotlight for bone health, iodine is a vital but under-recognized component. Consuming iodized salt helps ensure you get adequate iodine to support bone mineral density and prevent conditions like osteoporosis.
Iodine influences your body’s metabolic rate and energy balance. Getting sufficient iodine helps your body efficiently convert calories into energy and maintain a healthy metabolism. Iodine deficiency, on the other hand, can contribute to a sluggish metabolism and difficulty losing weight. Using iodized salt is an easy way to help keep your metabolism in check.
Adequate iodine intake may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. Iodine deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of certain cancers such as thyroid cancer, breast cancer, and stomach cancer. Getting enough iodine, such as by using iodized salt, may help prevent these diseases. Iodine also plays a role in immune function and deficiency can make you more susceptible to infections. Using iodized salt in moderation is a simple step you can take for better health and disease prevention.
In summary, consuming adequate iodine from iodized salt helps support brain health, bone health, metabolism, and may help prevent disease. Adding a small amount of iodized salt to your diet can have big benefits for your overall health and wellness.
So there you have it – the reasons why iodized salt should be an essential part of your diet. Your thyroid and overall health depend on it. Make the simple switch to iodized salt and you’ll be doing your body and mind a huge favor with minimal effort.