“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)
Iodine is a critical factor in you being healthy — if you are deficient, like most people, then you are not optimally healthy. Learn more here and now! This will be the final article in this series for awhile, as there’s lots more topics in waiting.
Iodine is a non-metallic trace element which is required by humans for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which run your metabolism in each cell in your whole body. This effects your energy level and your ability to lose weight. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from your pituitary gland, stimulates iodine trapping from your blood, then thyroid hormone synthesis and release of T3 and T4 by your thyroid gland.
But there’s way more need and benefit to you in the Iodine story!
I’ll mention more unusual aspects at the end *, and try to stay with a quick overview here, and see the LINKS to the other 11 parts where you can learn why this topic is important enough for me to have spent 3 months on.
Just remember, Iodine is needed by every cell in your body in natural, optimal amounts. This is NOT happening in most of our bodies, and the Japanese and Okinawans take in far more than the American Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)! Don’t be frightened away from using Iodine foods because I have to put up the unusual situation comments at the end of this article.
Also, by the way, I am never talking about Iodine in all forms; for example, DO NOT USE FIRST-AID IODINE FROM THE PHARMACY; IT IS POISONOUS AND NOT FOR ORAL USE!
Given the importance of sufficient iodine during prenatal development and infancy, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consider taking a supplement that provides the RDA.
In my opinion after reading the literature, it’s almost impossible to get too much if you get you just get your Iodine from normal portions of food. It is rare for diets of natural foods to supply more than 2,000 mcg of Iodine/day, and most diets supply less than 1,000 mcg of Iodine/day. Lactating and pregnant women actually need 1,100 mcg (micrograms) of Iodine daily while in those conditions.
The exception is people living in the northern coastal regions of Japan, whose diets contain large amounts of seaweed. They have been found to have Iodine intakes ranging from 50,000 to 80,000 mcg (50-80 mg) of iodine/day, and are healthy! But, they built-up those tolerances over a life-time of use. For you, use just a small serving of seaweed daily or a nori wrap or some seaweed stock or ocean fish a few times a week to get a reasonable quota.
A multivitamin / multimineral supplement that contains 100% of the daily value (DV) for iodine provides 150 mcg of iodine. (that’s micrograms) Kelp tablets from the health store will also supply Iodine OR 5 grams a day of seaweed (that’s 1 ounce a week).
Two groups of substances found in food – isoflavones, most commonly found in soy foods — and thiocyanates (most commonly produced in the body from glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli) have been shown to interfere with iodine utilization by the thyroid gland. This is only under very specific circumstances which involve simultaneous dietary deficiency of iodine or selenium (or both) and imbalanced overall dietary intake of them.
And, now for some more seaweed recipes. These include Sea Tangle products. I did use one of the recipes on the back of their package when I tried their sea veggie salad last week. I used the one with apple, and it was such a filling dish using one packet, that the 3 of the adults in my home did not need (or want) the rest of lunch. The seaweed salad prepared that way was tasty and satisfying for very few calories and lots of nutrition.
The Sea Tangle Kelp Noodles are absolutely an awesomely odd texture somewhere between cucumber and rice noodles and they are a raw to be eaten raw or only warmed. There is no cooking involved in the preparation. Rinse for 10 -30 minutes and just like that, they are ready.
They are made of only the interior of the kelp frond, sodium alginate (a sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed) and water. That’s it. They’re actually not slimy at all; they are crisp.
Basil and Asparagus K-Noods
Serves 1 – 2
1/2 packet Kelp Noodles
5-8 florets of cauliflower (raw, or lightly steamed) or substitute
1/3C basil, chopped fine
1/4C sunflower seeds
1/2C cucumber, sliced into rounds and then quartered
4-5 black olives, sliced
1/2 clove garlic, minced
2 T flax or hemp oil
1 T lemon juice
sea salt and cayenne to taste
pea shoots and / or broccoli sprouts or other sprouts to garnish
___ Rinse kelp noodles thoroughly and allow to soak for about ten minutes. Drain
___ Mix all ingredients in a bowl together. than add kelp noodles.
___ Toss and serve
You can store in fridge for about two days.
In Los Angeles, Hugo’s serves a “Kelp Noodle Salad Bowl’ The noodles are topped with “julienned vegetables, sprouts, snow peas, cilantro and scallions. Tossed with orange-mango-sesame-chili dressing. Garnished with mixed sea vegetables, pickled ginger and toasted sesame seeds”. Sounds good enough to figure out my own version.
To prepare your own healthy snack, all you need are:
Nori seaweed in sheets
Salt, preferably Celtic sea salt
Organic Sesame oil
___ On a piece of wax paper, for easy application, brush the sesame oil on both sides of the nori sheet then sprinkle lightly with salt.
___ Heat your non-stick skillet over medium heat. Take the nori off the wax paper and place one sheet at a time into the pan. It takes about 15 to 20 seconds each side.
___ Cut to bite-size pieces. And it’s ready!
Use as a sprinkle or eat out of hand like chips.
Healthy Rosemary and Seaweed Salt
This is a homemade, innovative recipe for a new Gomasio.
___ In a coffee grinder take 1 sheet of nori seaweed, kombu, a few tablespoons of mekabu or another sea vegetable and grind till fine.
___ Add 1 tablespoons of rosemary and 1 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt and grind again until fine.
___ After grinding, you can also add 1T chia seed (Em: Salba is a good brand.)(Em: do it after grinding so the chic stay whole giving longer shelf-life and less chance of rancidity.)
___ Store in an air tight container in a dry, preferably dark and cool place.
It’s best to use it as a condiment on a dish after it has been cooked.
Celtic sea salt contains over 82 buffering elements to protect against the effect of just sodium chloride being used in other “salt”.
Remember to have moderation with everything, even moderation!
Vegetable Tofu Soup
3 Shiitake Dried Mushrooms
1 1/2C Mekabu Dried Seaweed (Eden Foods) *
10 ozs soft tofu
4 t Hon Dashi Bonito-Style Soup Base Granules
1/8t black pepper
2 med carrots, thinly sliced
1 med new potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 green onion and its top, thinly sliced on diagonal
___ Soak shiitake as package directs. Drain. Remove and discard shiitake stems. Thinly slice shiitake.
___ Re-hydrate the mekabu as directed by package. Drain well.
___ Drain tofu on paper towel for 20 minutes. Crumble tofu.
___ Combine 6 cups water, dashi granules, sake and pepper in medium saucepan.
___ Bring to a boil. Add shiitake, carrots, potato and green onion. Return to a boil.
___ Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
___ Mix in mekabu and tofu. Cook 1 minute longer, or until all is hot. Ladle into bowls to serve.
Makes 6 servings, about 1-1/2 cups each.
* You can buy Mekabu online at Eden Foods. There are more recipes there, too.
Eden Foods Seaweed Recipe Archive
Mekabu Cucumber Orange Salad
Serves 6 | Prep Time 0:25
1 package Eden Mekabu
1 med English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
8 med red radishes, sliced into thin rounds
1/4C scallions, thinly sliced
1/2C orange sections, cubed
2 T Eden Toasted Sesame Oil, or to taste
2 T Eden Organic Brown Rice Vinegar, or to taste
1 T Eden Shoyu Soy Sauce, or to taste
___ Quickly rinse the mekabu in a strainer under cold water, place in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 10 minutes, drain and place back in the bowl. Cover with cold water and soak 5 minutes.
___ While the mekabu is soaking slice the vegetables and fruit, and place in a medium mixing bowl. When the mekabu is ready, drain well in a strainer and then add to the mixing bowl.
___ Combine the oil, vinegar and shoyu, mix and pour over the salad ingredients. Gently toss to mix. Serve.
Per serving: 60 Calories, 5g Fat (74% calories from fat), 1g Protein, 3g Carbohydrate, 1g Fiber, 0mg Cholesterol, 315mg Sodium
Wakame Seaweed Salad With Gomasio
2 ozs fresh wakame seaweed
2 Japanese or English (seedless) cucumbers
assorted young greens (mesclun)
1T su (Eden brown rice vinegar)
1T fresh lemon juice
1T organic sesame oil
3T grapeseed or other neutral oil
pinch Celtic sea salt
pinch fresh white pepper
prepared Chinese mustard
___ Pour hot water over fresh wakame seaweed. Immerse in water and drain. Cut into 1 inch lengths.
___ Wash the cucumbers then take a fork and run it along the skin from tip to tip on one side and then the other to score it to make a simple decorative pattern on the outside skin. Japanese cucumbers are much more delicate than Western varieties. If you cannot find them, use a single English cucumber, slice it in half and seed it. Cut on the bias into thin rounds.
___ Tear the baby greens into bite-sized pieces and arrange in a bowl.
___ Mix and stir the dressing ingredients.
___ Mix seaweed, cucumbers with the dressing and then place them on top of the greens.
___ Garnish with gomasio (sesame salt) if desired.
PÂTÉ with Hijiki, (arame or wakame)
hijiki 1.75 oz (50 gr)
garlic 1 clove
parsley 1 tuft + 1 for garnish
sesame oil 2T
shoyu / soy sauce 2T
rice vinegar 1T
tahini (sesame paste) 1 teaspoon
grey Celtic sea salt 1 pinch
Cooking time: 50 minutes.
___ Rinse hijiki and soak in warm water for 20 minutes, then boil it for 20 minutes.
___ Rinse parsley and chop it (reserve a bit for garnish). Place most of the parsley in a blender container along with the squeezed lemon’s juice.
___ Strain hijiki and put it in the blender with all the remaining ingredients. Pulse to obtain a soft pâté.
Garnish with chopped parsley. Use as a dip or spread on crackers, veggies etc.
Try a “DLT” Sandwich, with fried dulse replacing the bacon. It is great! The recipe is simple. Just take some strips of dulse, fry like bacon, then add to your favorite sandwich bread with lettuce and tomato. The fried dulse has a crispy, fish-like flavor, so it’s more like a faux-fish sandwich. OR try using to wrap dates with cream cheese and dulse
Reference and more notes
Sanuki Sea Stock by Elizabeth Andoh
7 large, or 15 small, dried sardines (iriko), about 1/2 ounce trimmed *
10 to 12 square inches kombu kelp *
1 whole, or stems from 2 or 3, dried (hoshi) shiitake mushroom *
4 1/2 to 5 cups cold water, filtered or bottled for best results
1-, 3-, or 5-gram packet bonito flakes (katsuobushi), optional *
1/4 lb cod
___ Place the dried sardines, kelp, and dried mushrooms in a deep pot and cover with the cold water. Place the pot over medium-high heat and wait until small bubbles appear around the rim before adjusting the heat to maintain a steady but not very vigorous simmer.
___ Cook the stock for about 10 minutes, or until the broth becomes a pale gold. If large clouds of froth appear, skim them away.
___ Remove the pot from the heat and allow the contents to sink to the bottom naturally, about 2 minutes.
If you want a smoky flavor, add the bonito flakes (the more flakes you use, the smokier the flavor). Wait 2 or 3 minutes for the flakes to sink, and then strain the broth through a fine-woven muslin cloth, or a coffee-filter-lined colander.
___ Adding a quarter pound of cod, sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and simmered for a further 9 minutes makes a delicious little soup.
* Iriko (dried sardines) (also called niboshi) are available in most Asian markets. To maximize their flavor-enhancing ability and keep potential bitterness to a minimum, trim them by removing the gills and contents of the belly cavity. Because the fish are dried, this is not a messy procedure: Discard the heads. Then, pinch each fish at midpoint along its abdomen to split open the belly cavity, and discard the crumbly, blackened material. ·
For making stock, look for the reasonably-priced, all-purpose kombu labeled “dashi kombu,” or “Hidaka.”
Fresh shiitake and dried (hoshi) shiitake mushrooms are not interchangeable. Dried mushrooms are especially rich in minerals such as potassium, and contribute an intense flavor to stocks and stews. For making stocks, the flatter, less costly varieties of hoshi shiitake (either whole caps, broken pieces, or presliced bits) will be fine.
To further release the full flavor of the dried sardines, kelp, and dried mushrooms, soak them for at least 10 or 15 minutes (and up to several hours) in the pot of cold water before cooking.
Dried fish flakes (katsuobushi) generally combine shavings of tunalike bonito (katsuo) with other less expensive fish such as sardines and mackerel. Bonito yields a mild but smoky flavor; if your preference runs toward smokiness, look for a higher percentage of bonito, usually accompanied by a higher price. Sardine and mackerel lend a more assertive flavor. Once opened, the flakes go rancid rather quickly, so if you will be using them only occasionally, look for a “fresh pack” (several small, sealed packets, each containing 3 or 5 grams) rather than a single larger bag (usually 100 grams).
I hope you have enjoyed the series and I will update more when it seems right. Meanwhile, do learn more on your own as Iodine is super important, and if you find good seaweed recipes, please share them here or send them to me at the About Me page on the upper navigation bar.
And, remember Iodine-rich foods help your heart, too. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I will remind you how important that is for 400,000 Americans will die of Heart Disease in 2010. Try not to be one of them.
2-2-10 Daily Health News email I received which was made even more poignant by the news that President Bill Clinton was whisked away in a NYC snow storm to get more heart stent surgery, even when he has managed to keep his weight in check.
5-Second Artery Test
As we age, arteries can lose flexibility, and that’s not good because arterial stiffness is often a precursor to cardiovascular disease. So I’m happy to be able to tell you about a simple, do-it-yourself way to gauge whether your arteries might be dangerously stiff.
The simple test
Muscle flexibility is a component of cardio-respiratory fitness and physical fitness and is also an aspect of arterial flexibility. In a study at the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo, 526 healthy participants were divided into three age groups and instructed to sit on the floor with their backs against the wall. While researchers held their legs straight in front of them, they were asked to use their arms to push forward a device that measured their maximum reach. Researchers then classified each as having “poor” or “high” flexibility. They also simultaneously measured blood pressure and pulse wave velocity, which gives a clinical measure of arterial stiffness.
The results: In middle-aged and older people, poor body flexibility was associated with arterial stiffness. The findings were reported in American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.
“This study takes the first step in determining the relationship between flexibility and cardiovascular diseases,” says Kenta Yamamoto, PhD, a research fellow in the department of integrative physiology at University of North Texas Health Science Center and lead author of the study.
There could be several reasons for the association. The researchers speculate that habitually working to increase flexibility by stretching your muscles may also relax the arteries and help decrease arterial stiffness. Another possibility involves collagen and elastin, the composition of which changes with age, reducing the flexibility of both muscles and arteries. A third possibility relates to blood pressure, since we already know elevated blood pressure stiffens arteries. In this study, researchers found that those with the highest blood pressure also had the poorest flexibility.
How to Test Yourself for Heart Healthy Arteries
It’s easy to test yourself at home, says Dr. Yamamoto: “If you cannot touch your toes when sitting with your legs held straight, your flexibility is poor.” He suggests integrating flexibility exercises — such as yoga, Pilates or basic stretching –into your routine, adding that doing this may help prevent arterial stiffness. He says to follow the recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association, which advise those who don’t work out regularly to stretch for 10 to 15 minutes every day … and says that those who do exercise regularly should incorporate several minutes of stretching before and after each workout. That’s a very easy prescription for something that could save your life.
Kenta Yamamoto, PhD, research fellow in department of the integrative physiology at University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Reference
Best to all — Em
Read the whole Series:
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 1
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 2
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 3
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 4
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 5
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 6
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 7
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 8
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 9 Brief Synopsis, so far.
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 10 Includes Nutrition and RDA charts
Diabetics – Iodine and Health 11
If you do not get enough healthy Iodine isotope 127 daily from food sources, then your body will begin to absorb the toxic Iodine isotope 131 (created by the Nuclear Industry) coming into your body and harmfully attaching to the Iodine sites, (but doing no work to help your body — in addition to the radiation it brings in). That’s why I am opposed to any more nuclear power plants and I am shocked that the Obama administration would be bringing up that as an option as he did in the State of the Union speech recently. They are known hazard, even without nuclear accidents.
As the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports: “Radioactive iodine, especially Isotope 131, may be released into the environment as a result of nuclear reactor accidents. Thyroid accumulation of radioactive iodine increases the risk of developing thyroid cancer, especially in children. The increased iodine trapping activity of the thyroid gland in iodine deficiency results in increased thyroid accumulation of radioactive iodine (131 Isotope).
Thus, iodine-deficient individuals are at increased risk of developing radiation-induced thyroid cancer because they will accumulate greater amounts of radioactive iodine.
Potassium iodide administered in pharmacologic doses (50-100 mg for adults) within 48 hours before or eight hours after radiation exposure from a nuclear reactor accident can significantly reduce thyroid uptake of 131 Isotope and decrease the risk of radiation-induced thyroid cancer.
The prompt and widespread use of potassium iodide prophylaxis in Poland after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident may explain the lack of a significant increase in childhood thyroid cancer in Poland compared to fallout areas where potassium iodide prophylaxis was not widely used. …”
Potassium iodide is available as a nutritional supplement, typically in combination products like multivitamin / multimineral supplements. Iodine makes up approximately 77% of the total weight of potassium iodide, and even if you are getting some Iodine from iodized salt in commercial foods or from a little seaweed on your own, the amount in a multivitamin / multimineral pill will not cause excess and will give you a very minimal foundation. Earlier in the series, I gave better oral Iodine options. DO NOT USE FIRST-AID IODINE FROM THE PHARMACY; IT IS POISONOUS AND NOT FOR ORAL USE!
There is a small risk of IIH (Iodine Induced Hyperthyroidism) when Iodine deficiency increases the risk of developing autonomous thyroid nodules that are unresponsive to the normal thyroid regulation system, after Iodine supplementation. Talk to your doctor if you already have thyroid nodules or concerns.
The Linus Pauling Institute also mentions: Drug interactions
“Amiodarone, a medication used to prevent abnormal heart rhythms, contains high levels of iodine and may affect thyroid function. Medications used to treat hyperthyroidism, such as propylthiouracil (PTU) and methimazole may increase the risk of hypothyroidism. Additionally, the use of lithium in combination with pharmacologic doses of potassium iodide may result in hypothyroidism. Further, the use of pharmacologic doses of potassium iodide may decrease the anticoagulant effect of warfarin (coumarin).”
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