How it helps
■ A component of the thyroid hormones, which control energy metabolism, regulate body temperature and are necessary for reproduction and growth.
■ Important for physical and mental development in children.
■ Helps metabolize excess fat.
Where iodine can be found
Seafood, saltwater fish, asparagus, lima beans, mushrooms, sea salt, sesame seeds, soybeans, spinach and summer squash.
What are the signs of deficiency?
Fatigue, weight gain and there has been some anecdotal linkage to breast cancer.
Some foods block the uptake of iodine into the thyroid gland when eaten in large amounts. These include Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, peaches, pears and turnips.