Iodized sea salt is similar to unrefined sea salt, with the exception that it has additional iodine added to it. The harvesting method is the same as sea salt, which is through the channeling of sea waters and allowing them to evaporate naturally by the sun and wind. The salt is left behind in layers, with the mineral rich salts settling towards the bottom of the layers.
Iodized sea salt contains essential minerals, and also contains an added amount of iodine. This salt may also contain other ingredients such as silicate and sugar. Silicate is an anti-caking agent which helps to prevent the sea salt from clumping up. However, this anti-caking agent is aluminum and has a bitter taste. Therefore sugar is added to help off-set the bitterness.
Both of these ingredients are toxic to the body, and thus you should always read your labels if you want to avoid unnatural ingredients.
What is Iodine?
Iodine is a trace mineral, which helps to ensure a healthy development and functioning of the mind and body. A deficiency in iodine is the leading cause of mental retardation around the world. Other symptoms of an iodine deficiency many include, anxiety and depression, dry skin, constipation, weight gain, fatigue and a decreased fertility rate.
Studies show that iodine may also be able to help you to prevent cancers of the prostate, ovary, lungs and breast.
How Much Iodine Do You Need
Babies only require between 40 to 50 micrograms per day. Children between 1 and 10 only need between 70 to 120 micrograms of iodine each day. Children 11 and over as well as adults only require 150 micrograms. Pregnant and nursing mothers however, will need between 175 to 200 micrograms.
1/2 tsp. of iodized sea salt contains as much as 190 micrograms of iodine. Thus if you want to remain within your daily intake of iodine you do not even need 1/2 tsp. of salt per day. However, according to experts you should consume between 1500 to 2400 mg of sodium per day. It is interesting to note that 1/2 tsp. only contains 1200 mg of sodium. Therefore if you want to obtain the correct amount of iodine from your salt, then you will not be able to consume enough of your recommended daily intake of sodium.
The good news however, is that there are other natural ways that you can obtain iodine and sodium. Unrefined and non-iodized sea salts contain small amounts of iodine. Sea vegetables, strawberries, mangoes, pineapples, coconuts, buckwheat, lentils, spinach, fennel, hazelnuts and cinnamon, or any fruit or vegetable that is grown in iodine rich soil will contain iodine.
And to obtain your sodium naturally, simply start eating lots of dark green vegetables.