The im­por­tance of io­dine

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Bump to Birth -

A soon as you dis­cover you’re preg­nant, look­ing after your body be­comes a big­ger pri­or­ity. A re­cent re­port re­leased from the COAG Health Coun­cil found that while most mums-to-be are aware that they should be tak­ing sup­ple­ments con­tain­ing folic acid for their un­born baby, they aren’t get­ting enough io­dine and don’t un­der­stand the ben­e­fits. Se­nior clin­i­cal ad­viser in Ob­stet­rics at NSW Health, Pro­fes­sor Michael Ni­choll says; “Rapid brain growth oc­curs in the first 1000 days of a baby’s life, but most preg­nant and breast­feed­ing women have in­ad­e­quate io­dine lev­els.” Most preg­nant women should be con­sum­ing around 220 mi­cro­grams per day, which is higher than the av­er­age per­son. “Io­dine sup­ports the healthy de­vel­op­ment of the ner­vous sys­tem, co­or­di­na­tion, alert­ness and the five senses of sight, hear­ing, smell, taste and touch,” Michael says. The good news is that you can in­crease your io­dine lev­els by eat­ing a healthy diet, in­clud­ing seafood (limit your­self to two por­tions of cooked fish a week), bread, eggs, dairy and iodised salt. How­ever, it might be dif­fi­cult to reach the daily in­take through your diet alone. “We rec­om­mend preg­nant women con­sume 150 mi­cro­grams per day through sup­ple­ments as most foods in Aus­tralia con­tain only small amounts of io­dine,” Michael says.

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