Why doesn’t anyone talk about iodine anymore?
There’s a reason why iodine is added to table salt… Though these days people are reaching for less table salt and more fancy salt (pink Himalayan salt, sea salt, etc.). As a result, that iodine supplement you never think about is often missing from your contemporary diet.
Iodine is a mineral that’s essential for brain function, especially during infancy, but lack of iodine can have other negative impacts on your health. In particular, iodine deficiency has historically led to goiter, a swelling in the neck resulting from an enlarged thyroid gland. If you’ve ever worried about your thyroid, iodine deficiency might be to blame.
Sources of Iodine
The problem is that the top sources of iodine in the modern diet are all fake! Iodine is added to table salt, and all sorts of grains and dairy products, but it’s artificially added to these foods. Why? Because we need iodine but it’s hard to get it.
And consider this: if you aren’t eating enough table salt, dairy products (hello vegan), or fortified grains (hello paleo and gluten-free), then you’re probably not getting enough iodine.
The best natural sources of iodine are in fish, seaweed, and other marine foods. Kelp noodles, seawood salad, and even the nori you eat with your sushi are all a good start. But you need to eat these foods regularly. Eating pastured egg yolks is also a non-vegan option.
Personally, I don’t like to leave it to the inconsistent consumption of seaweed and marine foods that I have in my diet so I add a couple of iodine drops to my smoothie every day. You can get the drops at your health food store. You don’t need much, just a couple of drops a day, but it’s good insurance against an iodine gap in your diet.