Iodine is a trace mineral. Our body needs iodine to maintain proper thyroid function, which has a significant impact on the metabolic processes in the human body. Adequate intake of iodine is especially important during pregnancy.
Iodine deficiency can cause goiter – enlargement of the thyroid gland that causes visible swelling in the neck area. Low iodine intake can also cause hypothyroidism, which can cause fatigue, constipation and weight gain.
After introducing iodized salt, iodine deficiency in Western nations is practically eliminated, but in some developing countries iodine deficiency continues to be an important public health problem.
Besides ionized salt, good sources of iodine are seafood and saltwater fish. Milk and yogurt are also a good source of iodine, as well as cranberries and strawberries, but the concentration of iodine in them depends on the composition of soil where the food was grown or where animal was raised.