Your body needs iodine, a non-metallic element, to support normal thyroid function. The earth’s oceans and soil contain iodine, which allows fish, fruits and vegetables absorb it. The World Health Organization reports that an iodine deficiency is the most prevalent cause of brain damage in the world. To prevent a deficiency, eat a diet full of iodine-rich foods.
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The amount of iodine in any fruit or vegetables depends on the iodine content of the soil. Some soils serve as a rich source of micronutrients like iodine for plants to absorb while other soils contain very small amounts of nutrients. Fruits grown in iodine-rich soil can contribute iodine to your diet, but in comparison with other foods, fruits contain very little iodine. A low-iodine diet provided by the Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association lists fruits as safe to eat on a low-iodine diet except for rhubarb, which botanist classify as a vegetable and maraschino cherries, which contain red dye.
Importance of Iodine
Iodine is an important nutrient and using fruits as your main source of iodine may leave you with a deficiency. The thyroid gland located in your neck contains the only cells in your body able to absorb iodine. The thyroid uses the iodine to produce two thyroid hormones known as thyroxine, or T4, and triiodothyronine, or T3. These two thyroid hormones regulate nearly all cells and functions in your body, making them vital for growth, development and metabolism, the conversion and use of energy.
The Institute of Medicine recommends adults consume 150 mcg of iodine per day. With most fruits containing very little iodine and the iodine content varying depending on where the fruit was grown, eating enough fruit to meet your daily recommended intake is difficult. Since an iodine deficiency can cause stillbirths, spontaneous abortions and congenital abnormalities in pregnant women and mental impairment and brain damage in children preventing iodine deficiencies requires eating foods that contain a higher iodine content than fruits.
Other Iodine Sources
The prevalence of iodine deficiency dropped with the widespread use of iodized salt. In the United States, iodized salt serves as the major source of iodine with each 1/4 tsp. containing 95 mcg of iodine. Fish caught from the ocean also serves as a good source of iodine. A 3 oz. serving of cod contains 99 mcg of iodine. Other iodine-rich foods include milk, because the feed given to cows is enriched with iodine, eggs, navy beans and the skin of potatoes.