What Iodized Sea Salt Is and Why It's Important

Iodized sea salt may be the perfect substitute for regular iodized table salt and natural sea salt. It contains essential minerals, which naturally are found in sea salt, as well as iodine, which is found in table salt. On top of that, it contains less sodium than regular table salt.

What Is It?

Iodized sea salt is basically the same as other sea salt, only it has iodine and possibly other ingredients added to it. The salt naturally contains essential trace minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium and small amounts of iodine. However, the amount of iodine non-iodized sea salt contains is not enough to supply you with your daily recommended intake. Therefore, iodized sea salt may be a better choice in order for you to obtain proper amounts of iodine.

The salt is produced by naturally allowing seawater to evaporate until all that is left is the salt. The salt is then cleansed through natural processes, or washed and boiled in water to remove the sand and other particles before adding iodine.

The location where the salt is obtained and how it is processed will determine the color of the salt. If the salt is white, then it has been heavily refined and may not contain any essential minerals. But, if it has a darker color of gray or pink, then it is processed naturally and still contains all of its essential minerals. 

Why Is It Important?

Iodine can be found in most plants, as well as in sea vegetables. However, sea vegetables may be hard to obtain for some, and other plants usually do not contain significant amounts as they are grown in iodine deficient soils. This is why iodized sea salt is important, as it helps you to obtain your recommended daily intake.

Iodized sea salt can help to provide the thyroid with enough iodine, so that it can produce the necessary hormones the body needs in order to grow and develop properly. It helps to build up the immune system so that the body can ward off diseases such as cancers, heart disease, goiters and autoimmune disorders.

The iodine also acts as an antioxidant, which helps to remove heavy metals such as lead, mercury, fluorine and other harmful toxins from your body. It makes it easier for you to lose weight by improving your metabolism, and helps to eliminate fat cells from your body. 

Iodine Deficiency

Not getting enough iodine in early childhood is the leading cause of mental retardation, as it is important for mental growth and development. The IQ level of children is determined between the ages of 2 and 3. Therefore, it is important for pregnant and nursing mothers to obtain the necessary amounts of iodine.

You only need about 150 micrograms of iodine per day in order to prevent a deficiency. Pregnant and nursing mothers should obtain between 175 to 200 micrograms per day. This amounts to 1/2 tsp. or less of iodized sea salt, as 1/2 tsp. contains as much as 200 micrograms.

Signs of an iodine deficiency may include the inability to concentrate, depression, sleeping too much, fatigue, dry skin and hair, body pain, constipation and weight gain. 

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