As a society, we’re always hopping from one health craze to the next. We drive ourselves crazy drinking green juice, investing in workout clothes and listening to wellness podcasts.

What if one of the simplest and most nutritious additions we could incorporate into our lifestyle came from nature? It’s true!

Iodine is a mineral found in most diets, though some foods are richer in it than others. It’s essential to our overall health and is especially important for thyroid regulation.

Today, we’re diving into some of the basics of an iodine diet, along with steps to take to make sure you’re approaching it the right way.

Ready to learn more? Let’s go!

Why Is Iodine Important?

In short, iodine and thyroid health go hand-in-hand. Your body uses iodine to make thyroid hormones, which then help control the speed of your metabolism. If your diet is deficient in iodine, you could suffer from hypothyroidism. 

Some of the symptoms of this condition include:

  • Fatigue 
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Unexplainable weight gain

On the other hand, if you intake or naturally produce too much iodine, you could have hyperthyroidism, characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Irritability
  • Excess perspiration

Thus, it’s important to balance the levels of iodine in your body to keep your thyroid in balance. Pregnant women may suffer from lower levels of iodine than normal. As such, they’ll often take a supplement to get their levels back up where they need to be to ensure proper fetal development.

Iodine supplements are available in forms that include potassium iodide or sodium iodide. You’ll also find the nutrient in multivitamin-mineral supplements. It’s critical for proper bone and brain development, as well as cognitive function and nervous system development. 

Other iodine uses include as a relieving foot soak for diabetics, as well as a treatment for fibrocystic breast changes.

In addition, those who take iodine supplements note that it can help improve their energy levels, eradicate internal toxins, fight cancer and provide protection from radiation. In other words, it’s a powerful opponent and you need it in your corner.

Understanding a Balanced Iodine Diet

The majority of people get enough iodine in their diets. In fact, there are 400 micrograms of the nutrient in one teaspoon of table salt alone! This is more than two times the amount that most adults need to consume on a normal day. 

However, if you’re sticking to a low-salt diet, you may find that you have to work a little harder to derive a sufficient amount of iodine from your food choices alone. Moreover, if you live in a country that doesn’t have a salt iodization program (the U.S. does), you may consume non-iodized salt on a normal basis and require an iodine supplement. 

These other populations may have low iodine levels present in their diets, as well:

  • Those living in regions with iodine-deficient soil
  • Those who consume a heavy amount of goitrogens, such as soy, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables, as these interfere with your thyroid’s uptake
  • Those on strict or specialty diets

Iodine-Rich Foods

When it comes to foods, where should you begin? Which foods contain the most iodine? The short answer is those that come from the sea.

The best and most direct source is seaweed, which you can find at most health food stores. If the taste is offputting and you prefer to munch on something else, reach for these other top seafood sources:

  • Lobster
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon

You’ll also find substantial levels of iodine in dairy products, eggs, grains, and whole vegetables. When it comes to the latter, the levels of iodine present in veggies is contingent upon how much iodine was in their growing soil, as well as in any fertilizer used.

Essential for newborn development, it’s also present in breast milk and added to baby formula. If you’re pregnant or lactating, you’ll need about 50% more than the normal amount of iodine in your diet.

When Is Too Much?

Though it’s hard to reach excessive levels, you can have too much of a good thing. 

If you think your iodine levels are too low and you’re considering incorporating a supplement into your daily routine, ask your doctor first and be sure to explain any medications you’re currently taking. Iodine doesn’t mix well with many other forms of medicine, so be as upfront and honest about your current routine. 

Symptoms of an Iodine Overdose

If you’re an adult, consuming more than 1,100 micrograms of iodine per day can be dangerous, as it may have a negative effect on your thyroid health. Some of the warning signs that your iodine levels are too high or that you need to lower your supplement dosage include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Metallic taste in your mouth
  • Diarrhea 

If you have a history of thyroid issues or if they run in your family, contact your doctor before starting an iodine supplement. 

Embrace an Iodine Diet Today

If you’re consuming enough iodine and you aren’t experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, an iodine diet may be the way to go! Continue to stock up on all the delicious flavors of the sea and beyond that happen to be great for your health, to boot!

If you’re experiencing a negative reaction because your levels are too low or too high, contact your healthcare professional before making any changes to your routine, diet or otherwise

Want more local news on business, lifestyle, and health? Keep reading our blog!

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6 Most Useful Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Starting a business – and being successful at it – requires the right amount of talent, knowledge and skills. You must have the knowledge about your industry, about general business principles, as well as about the laws and regulations that affect your operation.

Additionally, you must have nerves of steel and a heavy dose of patience to take chances and navigate the ups and downs that come with any new venture.

Although success often requires you to have ambition and clear goals, it also requires a certain set of personal skills. Here you will read about six useful skills that entrepreneurs need on their way to success.

1. Ability to listen

Great communicators make great businesspeople. In the business world, you must establish rapport with partners and suppliers. You also need to be there for your employees.

Of course, in order to succeed, you need to commit to customer service excellence, which involves hearing what your customers have to say. All these types of interaction involve one common skill – the ability to listen.

Without the capacity to interact with other people, you will have difficulty getting your new business off the ground. If you have little practice with interpersonal relationships, don’t lose hope.

By learning how to listen, you take one of the best shortcuts available on the path to becoming a great communicator.

When people have something to say, never interrupt them. People often have feelings, opinions, and interests that differ from yours, but if you learn to hear them out, you can quickly win people over.

As you listen attentively, notice the non-verbal cues that contribute to the conversation. When you intentionally communicate with customers and other people through listening, you gain their trust, loyalty, and admiration.

2. Assertiveness and confidence

Though listening skills are undeniably important, that doesn’t mean you have to keep quiet. Quite the contrary, being a good businessperson implies believing in yourself and being able to speak your mind with confidence. After all, communication goes two ways.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, you will often find yourself in situations that require assertiveness. Whether you are dealing with a pushy business partner or a demanding employee, you should never let others dictate your actions.

So, when you need to express your opinion – even if it includes disagreeing with the other party – try to do it assertively and confidently.

Take a deep breath, and articulate your thoughts. Sometimes it might seem overwhelming, as if you are on the verge of a conflict, but eventually you will learn to relax and project self-assurance. You will also gain the trust and respect of those around you.

3. Willingness to Learn

Being a businessperson requires an ongoing willingness to learn. Even after building a successful business, you have not finished your job. In fact, when it comes to learning and improving, you are never quite finished.

Continuous learning will help you evolve both personally and professionally. An insatiable appetite for learning through the Internet, books, documentaries, and seminars will deepen your knowledge and help you maintain your creative edge.

You should also remember to stay up-to-date with all the relevant development in your industry. Pay attention to trends and issues that affect your line of business and learn from the people who have already succeeded in businesses similar to yours.

Talk to industry leaders to get their advice, and apply their insight to your own business. Whatever you do, make learning an ongoing process both in your personal and professional life.

4. Creativity 

When it comes to keeping your business fresh and competitive, creativity is an essential skill. To innovate, you need to be creative. Being creative means doing things differently and thinking not only outside the box but also without that box!

This goes for both your personal life and business. In fact, those two are interconnected – when you spark creativity in your personal life, it will inevitably reflect on your business. So, what can you do?

What you can do is shake up your routine by trying new ways of doing things. Even small changes such as rearranging your office, driving home via a new route, ordering an unusual meal and talking to strangers can help you develop habits that can lead to innovation.

You should also attempt to think about things from new perspectives and apply new ways of solving problems. A little bit of creativity can go a long way in terms of your business growth, so do everything you can not to stifle it with convention and routine.

5. Courage and risk taking 

Entrepreneurs take risks, and you will surely find yourself in situations that require quick and risky decision making. You should never act recklessly, but you should always have the courage to try new ideas and to take little risks. If you don’t try, you will not succeed – it is that simple.

People are often held back by the fear of failure. Rather than fearing failure, embrace it. Sometimes the best experiences in business come from ideas that didn’t work.

Follow your creativity by implementing new ideas and making bold decisions even when you lack clear direction. As an entrepreneur, you should have the guts to take chances and have faith. As John Burroughs once said, “Leap, and the net will appear.”

6. Perseverance 

Last but not least, entrepreneurs must never give up. Remember this – never give up! There will be numerous obstacles and challenges along your way, but if you persevere in spite of them, you will reap success.

Sometimes this means having to accept failure. Even when your failures are expensive and embarrassing, they can still lead to success. Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and look for lessons you can learn from every seemingly negative experience.

As a business owner, you must also develop patience. Success usually does not come overnight, and setbacks do not magically resolve themselves. In the face of adversity, maintain optimism. When you believe in yourself and persevere, you become a prime candidate for success.

Difficulties along the road to entrepreneurial success can seem discouraging. However, if you regard every situation as a learning experience, you can develop the much needed personal skills that will help you build a successful business when you combine them with your expert knowledge.

Begin with the six useful skills listed here, and look for other tips for personal and professional growth along your pathway to success. Most importantly, remember to always improve and challenge yourself – there is no success for those who stand still.

Author bio: Natalie Smith, a freelance writer from Seattle, follows topics related to entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing, social media, and business in general. You can reach her @Natalie Smith

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