“Iodine deficiency has been called ‘Britain’s hidden nutrition crisis’, in fact, a study involving 737 teenage girls found that more than two-thirds were deficient in this essential mineral”, explains Nutritional therapist Fiona Lawson working in association with itsu.
So, why is iodine so important? “Not only does iodine help to control your metabolism, but it also helps maintain healthy hair, skin and teeth”, adds Fiona.
Despite the crisis, there is a quick and easy answer in seaweed
Seaweed can support your metabolism: The body uses iodine – a mineral that’s particularly abundant in seaweed – to make thyroid hormones. As well as influencing growth and cell repair, these important hormones control your metabolism.
Seaweed can help your gut: By dry weight, the amount of fibre in seaweed is higher than most fruit and vegetables. Fibre is essential not only for ensuring smooth digestion, but it can also help to feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Seaweed can help to combat stress: Whenever we feel stressed (emotionally or physically), our body uses B vitamins. It’s therefore important that we eat enough B vitamins to support our resilience to stress.
Seaweed contains good amounts of many of the B-complex vitamins, including vitamin b2, vitamin B6 and folate and also plays a key role in creating serotonin – the neurotransmitter that give us that happy feeling.
Seaweed may reduce blood pressure: A review of more than 100 studies concluded that a special type of protein found in seaweed could help to reduce blood pressure. Research is ongoing, so in future we’ll know how best to use seaweed as a functional food to optimise our blood pressure and more.
Seaweed can help boost your mood: Seaweed contains a cocktail of nutrients that can help to promote a good mood.
Magnesium for example, is an essential mineral found in seaweed, is known to promote relaxation and a sense of calm, while the iron content of seaweed can also help to ward off fatigue.
The zinc in seaweed is known to play a role in hormonal balance too, which is essential for a happy state of mind.
Another quick and easy way to get a quick fix is with the itsu crispy seaweed thins which contain more than half of your daily iodine intake, which is great news for those of us who are looking to boost our intake.
itsu crispy seaweed thins (RRP: £1.00, available nationwide at Tesco) a great snack choice!