The human body is extremely complex. Along with macro-nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, etc., it requires micro-nutrients and minerals to function properly. Most of these requirements are fulfilled by having a balanced diet. But an imbalance of nutrients can result into diseases that hamper our physical and mental well-being.
One such element is iodine. It is a trace mineral, essential for our body’s proper development and growth. Some sources of iodine include seafood, dairy products and grains. Although they contain iodine, it is insufficient to meet the needs of our bodies.
Why does our body need iodine?
Iodine deficiency can cause serious health problems. The thyroid gland requires iodine to function properly. It uses iodine - from the edible and potable sources of iodine - to produce the hormones that impact our physical and mental growth, body temperature, reproduction, heart health and metabolism. Lack of iodine can lead to diseases such as an enlarged thyroid gland (goitre), a serious condition that is considered a health risk all over the world.
Salt or no salt?
The rise of diseases caused due to an iodine deficiency, gave birth to iodized salt. Over the years, the words ‘iodine’ and ‘salt’ have become synonymous with each other. But in the recent years, the word salt has closely been related to hypertension, a lifestyle disease putting millions in India at a health risk. One of the first recommendations to control hypertension is reducing one’s salt intake. It is natural to be confused due to these contradictory facts.
How do we choose?
The alternative is simple. In order to ensure that your body gets sufficient iodine without adding to your hypertension, choose a low-sodium iodized salt. It is one of the potent sources of iodine. Formulated to address the body requirements without increasing the blood pressure, low sodium iodized salt has iodine and potassium. When used in addition to lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthy diet, avoiding overly processed foods, regular exercise and stress control tools like meditation, this salt helps regulate hypertension.
It is common to come across contradictory views when it comes to salt. All of us have different dietary requirements. To ensure that your body gets proper nourishment, understand your body’s needs by consulting your doctor. Take unsolicited advice and the information overload around you with a pinch of salt and choose a salt, a low sodium iodised salt preferrably, suited for your well-being.
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