Are You Deficient In Iodine? You May Be At Risk…

Iodine deficiency is a silent epidemic. Iodine is typically found in iodized table salt and in sea vegetables. In the American culture, we have decreased our use of table salt and eat almost no sea vegetables. As a result, there is an alarmingly high amount of Americans who unknowingly suffer from iodine deficiency.

Iodine is essential and especially crucial for brain development in children. It also plays a central role in healthy function of your thyroid gland. Inadequate iodine intake can lead to weight gain, depression, decreased energy, various cancers and heart disease! As you can see it is crucial to ensure that your body is getting sufficient iodine intake.

Adding sea vegetables into your diet is a great way to boost your iodine intake without having to increase your sodium intake. In our house, I sprinkle dulse or kelp granules on many of our meals to ensure we are getting adequate iodine intake. Sushi rolls are also a great way to increase your sea vegetable intake. I also use kombu when cooking beans or grains, which adds iodine and makes them easier to digest. If you choose to use salt as a source of iodine, be sure to use iodized salt.

The following are a few great food based items that you can incorporate into your diet to naturally boost your iodine intake:

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Brown Rice…. Good Stuff!

Brown Rice
Brown Rice – photo from Wikipedia

Unlike white rice, brown rice has all bran layers intact and thus contains all of its nutrients. These layers of bran act to protect the grain so it can maintain its fatty acids. Brown rice contains the highest amount of B vitamins out of all grains – which is great for your energy levels. It contains iron, vitamin E, amino acids, and linoleic acid. Brown rice is also high in fiber, extremely low in sodium, and is composed of 80% complex carbohydrates.

It is a great choice for a clean source of carbohydrate in your diet and can easily be paired with many foods for a complete meal. Brown rice has some great health benefits, including promoting healthy digestions, quenching your thirst and balancing blood sugar to help control mood swings.

I like to buy organic brown rice in bulk (saves money when you don’t have to pay for fancy packaging). I store it in airtight glass jars in my pantry to maintain freshness. Brown rice is a great food you can easily prepare in bulk for the week and use in several different dishes, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I usually recommend soaking your grains overnight to make them more easily digestible. Cooking the brown rice with a strip of kombu (a sea vegetable) can also make rice more easily digestible and add valuable trace minerals.