THE BARE MINERALS
You’re down with vitamins, so it’s time to show manganese, iodine and co a little love
Nutritional gains? Think of this as your almighty mineral. Not only is it crucial for neurological development from day dot, it also plays a major role in healthy thyroid function. Without it, your active thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine (which is quite the multitasker, involved in metabolic rate, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, bone maintenance and brain development), wouldn’t exist. Yet, according to the latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS), 15% of women have iodine intakes below the lower reference nutrient intake level (LRNI to its friends) – thanks, in part, to the rise of alt milks, which typically have just 2% of the iodine concentration of cow’s milk.
Where’s it at? White fish and dairy products. Vegan? While the main sources of iodine do come from seafood, you don’t necessarily need to supp up. ‘Sprinkling iodised salt on meals is an effective method of meeting your body’s requirements should you be concerned about deficiency,’ says Irving. ‘Couple this with the consumption of fortified foods, such as bread, and supplements are often not needed.’
Dose? Aim for 0.14mg per day.
Not too much because high doses can cause thyroid problems over the long term. A 200ml serving of milk provides 0.05-0.1mg and 100g cod has 0.19mg. If you do want to take a supplement, Irving suggests a quality multivitamin containing potassium iodide or sodium iodide.