Iodized salt is any salt that has been fortified with an essential trace mineral known as iodine. Iodine as well as sodium (salt), can be found in most plants including fruits and vegetables. However, the amounts you are able to obtain from plants may not always be enough especially if they have been grown in poor soil. Therefore, iodized salt can help to maintain a healthy balance of iodine in the body.
The benefits of using iodized salt are numerous, as the whole body depends on these two minerals in order to function properly:
Improved Thyroid Function
Your body needs iodine for the thyroid to produce a couple of essential hormones called thyroxine and triodothyronine. These hormones help to regulate the metabolism and the growth and development of the body.
Improved Brain Function
Iodized salt can improve the functions of the brain, such as memory, concentration and the ability to learn. An iodine deficiency can lower the IQ by as much as 15 points.
Iodized salt in moderation can help to prevent miscarriages and stillbirths. It can also help to avoid cretinism, which can affect the physical and mental growth of the baby while it is in the womb or shortly after it is born. Cretinism may affect the speech and hearing as well as other bodily movements.
Depression and feelings of anxiety and frustration may be the result of an iodine deficiency. Iodized salt can help to ensure that you are getting enough iodine to prevent these emotional feelings from occurring.
Iodine is important for regulating the metabolism. When it is too high, you may not be able to gain a healthy weight, and if it is too low, you may gain weight, or be unable to lose it. Additionally, iodized salt can increase your energy levels so that you will exercise more.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Iodized salt can prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying in the intestines and can help you to prevent many symptoms of IBS, such as headaches, fatigue and constipation.
It can help to cure dry and flaky skin, and improve the growth of your hair and nails. It also plays a role in developing and maintaining healthy teeth.
Iodized salt can help to remove harmful metals such as lead and mercury as well as other harmful toxins from your body. This can help to restore a healthy pH level in your body.
Studies have shown that an iodine deficiency may contribute to certain types of cancer such as breast, ovary, lung and prostate cancers.
Iodized salt can help to create hormones which regulate the heart rate and blood pressure. It can also help the body to burn extra fat deposits that contribute to heart disease.
You only need about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of iodized salt daily, as 1/2 tsp. contains as many as 200 micrograms of iodine. The recommended daily dosage for the average adult is 150 micrograms. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume between 175 to 200 micrograms daily.
Keep in mind that most processed foods contain salt, but usually this salt is not iodized. Therefore, you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that you are getting enough from iodized salt or from other foods.