Iodine & Thyroid Health for Vegans | Dr Michael Greger of Nutritionfacts.org
So...so iodine, right? Alright, so I’ve done funny skit to open every nutrient so far in the Dr. Greger series and today is... ...iodine. I..O..Dine. I owe you dining…that's awful.
Oh, anagrams! okay, let’s see.. Die Ion! I die!? No! Ode I in? Ode in I? Iodine jokes. Chemistry cat, chemistry cat, chemistry cat, chemistry cat, chemistry cat.
I’ll ask Myq! How do you make iodine funny? Are you asking me something specific, or just say anything about iodine? Like "i no dine on iodine"? or "iodine" anagrams to "i.e. I d'no""? His anagrams are always better than my anagrams! Oh I’m late to filming! I'm so not ready. Something funny.
Hi it’s Emily from Bite Size Vegan and welcome to another vegan nugget. Today’s video is the second to last in the “Where Do You Get Your___?” Vegan Nutrition Series with Dr. Michael Greger of Nutritionfacts.org. Now Iodine may not be on your radar immediately when going vegan- it’s a non-metallic trace element most people think of as a pre-surgical topical application, for which it is used. But dietary iodine is key to the synthesis of thyriod hormones in the body. The top sources of Iodine are from foods from the sea. Followed by, iodized salt, milk and eggs. So let’s hear from Dr.
Greger on how to ensure you have adequate Iodine levels when going vegan. And just a note- this video will not be covering the concerning issues surrounding nori production and seaweed farming in general. That will be a whole other video. Today we’re focusing on the nutrition. Another nutrient of concern to vegans and especially people with thyroid conditions is Iodine. And, a lot of people you hear that it’s in seafood and salt, it’s basically the two that you hear from.
So, could you speak a little bit to the world of Iodine in a plant based diet? Sure, Iodine is important for thyroid function. It’s found predominantly in the ocean and variable amounts in the soil around the world, but it kind of depends where you’re growing your food, And so back in the 1920’s they iodized the salt supply and so if you do...so just kind of make sure everybody gets enough. So, if you do use salt, if you do add salt to your food use iodized salt.
Not sea salt or mineral salt, or crazy himalayan copal salt, or whatever. The thing’s about 20 times less iodine than iodized salt. But of course we shouldn’t be adding salt to our foods at all. Sodium is considered the 3rd leading dietary killer in the United States. Now some, um...so people can get it from seafood because it’s found in the ocean. And also, people that drink dairy milk, it’s actually not in the milk itself, but it’s used in these iodine containing disinfectants that used to...what are called teat dips to prevent mastitis. They dipped the cow’s teats in an iodine containing solution like beta dye. And some of that iodine then leaches into the milk and so, just that disinfectant process can be a source of iodine for milk drinkers.
But for people that are eating healthier diets I would encourage people, so you may be getting all that you need just from eating land plants depending on where the plants are grown. But I would encourage people to develop a taste for sea vegetables, kind of the dark green leafies of the sea. And so for example, a half teaspoon of dulse for example, or arme is all the iodine you need for the day, there’s 150mcg.
And dulse is just...you can get it in these little purple flakes, it’s pretty, it’s not very ‘seaminy’. So, you can sprinkle a half teaspoon on whatever you are eating and you wouldn’t even know it’s there, you can get all that you need. And also, it’s other good, wonderful trace minerals.
I would not however encourage people to eat hajiki or hijiki which has too much arsenic and kelp actually has too much iodine. So, it’s very difficult to actually get...to get your iodine from kelp just because it’s so concentrated, you’d need to take such small amounts. And so, with those two aside I encourage people to eat sea vegetables. There’s a lot of great seaweed snacks on the market now.
So, basically like nori sheets, the sushi sheets and their flavored varieties. Now, unfortunately most of them have added oil and salt but you go get a big thing of nori sheets. And what I like to do, there’s lots of ways you can season them, I kind of paint them, brush them with pickled ginger juice from pickled ginger for sushi, and then just sprinkle some wasabi powder on it which is actually a cruciferous vegetable, it’s horseradish. And then re-crisp it in the oven about 300 degrees for 5 minutes or something and get a really delicious snack. And so, you can just sit there on the couch eating seaweed snacks, no added sodium, and as a snack you’re eating dark green leafy vegetables. Like eating kale chips or something, you can’t get healthier than that, and you get all the iodine you need.
You do not want to get too much iodine so you wouldn’t want to go over a tablespoon of the dulse or arme everyday, or more than 10 sheets of the nori seaweed everyday cause you can actually get too much thyroid function. The only other thing is it’s particularly critical during pregnancy so I agree with the American Thyroid Association’s recommendation that all women, regardless of what they eat, get as part of their multi-vitamin regimen a 150mcg’s of iodine everyday. I hope you enjoyed hearing from Dr. Greger on this. Our actual iodine requirements are incredibly low with our entire lifetime requirements fitting within one teaspoon. However Iodine deficiency is prevalent in some countries where there are either low sea and soil levels of iodine and/or if one is eating a purely refined foods diet. Of course, diets high in iodized salt and fortified foods can lead to iodine toxicity, so it’s best to stay under the upper limit of 1,100mcg a day. And just a personal comment on the iodine content of milk- if your food gets its nutrients from teat dip, it may be time to reevaluate your dietary practices.
If you want to track your own iodine, check out Cronometer. Just be sure to go to your profile and minerals tab to select iodine to be displayed. Because of the variation of soil and sea iodine content around the world, standard iodine content for most foods does not exist. However, if you are taking an iodine supplement or dulse, as Dr. Greger spoke of, you can create your own supplement entry in Cronometer and see its impact on your nutrition report.
It’s totally free to use and pretty fantastic- so much so that they’re actually sponsoring this video to get this vital information out to you. Be sure to use the link in the video description below to go make your free profile. I don’t get any money when you click on it but it lets Cronometer know that I’m good at pimping their product. Which I may have just...completely negated…by using that phrase. If you enjoyed dining on this iod of a nugget, give the video a big thumbs up and share it around to spread the nutritional truth.
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And hey, check out some of my related videos while you're here. Now go live vegan, and I’ll see you soon! What's the show that cesium and iodine love watching together? CSI I tried to tell a joke about Iodine and starch. I got no reaction. Hey you must be made of Uranium and Iodine because all I can see is U and I. Where were these yesterday? I'm on fire! Subtitles by the Amara.org community.
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