If you are pregnant and you are interested in the question: diet to control thyroid during pregnancy. You will find a lot of useful information on this topic, as well as tips, advice, opinions, and answers to questions about pregnancy, proper nutrition and diets.
A healthy pregnancy begins after complying with a golden rule that should never be broken: a balanced nutrition. It is well known that a proper eating plan is vital at any stage of growth, but if we talk about the gestation phase its importance is crucial for the proper formation of the fetus and, therefore, its development. However, this article answers one of the biggest questions of future mothers: why is it necessary to include in the diet foods with iodine?
In the first instance, it is worth mentioning that iodine is a mineral that is part of the halogen group of the periodic table of chemical elements and is essential to produce thyroid hormones. However, it is more relevant in the case of pregnant women or nursing mothers, since it is essential for the development of the baby’s brain. On the other hand, it is also a vital nutrient in children. But what are the foods with iodine that should be consumed during pregnancy?
What the WHO says about iodine
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Unicef and the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders, the most suitable alternative to avoid iodine deficiency in the global population is the intake of iodized salt. However, the WHO estimates that most foods have a low iodine content, so it proposes to consume supplements or extra iodine pills equivalent to 200 mcg of iodine per day for pregnant women, nursing mothers and those who plan to have a healthy baby, either naturally or through Assisted Reproduction treatment.
In addition, an iodine-poor diet can trigger a number of counterproductive diseases or symptoms in people such as, for example, depression, hypothyroidism or anemia. In fact, it can give way to what is known as “cretinism”: deficits in physical and mental development that go as far as retarded intelligence; caused by abnormalities in the thyroid gland from the fetal stage.
In this order of ideas, it is a chemical element necessary for the metabolism of the cells; in other words, it favors the conversion of food into pure energy for the body. In addition, it optimizes the functioning of the thyroid and, in turn, the production of thyroid hormones.
A failure of these glands, due to insufficient iodine, can lead to hypothyroidism, which affects pregnant women and older children more than men. This can be reflected in weight gain, weakness in the body or enlargement of the thyroid gland known as “goiter”. However, alarm bells should be sounded at this point, as maternal hypothyroidism can lead to miscarriage as well as learning disabilities in children of mothers who have been diagnosed but never treated.
When to start taking care of iodine levels in the body?
To attack this enemy of maternal hypothyroidism caused by a low consumption of foods rich in iodine. Indeed, iodine needs increase during pregnancy. For this reason, you should start consuming this nutrient as soon as the pregnancy is diagnosed, preferably from the first trimester onwards. This element is found in foods such as fish, vegetables, fruits or milk. On the other hand, it is recommended to keep these foods in the diet for this purpose.
The daily intake of iodine for the growing stages is as follows:
- Adults (over 14 years): 150 micrograms per day.
- Children (1-13 years): 90 micrograms per day.
- Pregnant or lactating women: 290 micrograms per day.
The 3 foods rich in iodine for pregnancy
- Dairy products and derivatives: according to experts in the field, consuming a glass of milk can provide the body with 2 mg of iodine. Although it is clearly a minimum dose, it is recommended to raise intake by about 200 mg per day during pregnancy. This can greatly reduce the manifestation of syndromes such as deaf-mutism, miscarriages, congenital malformations and even intellectual impairment. How much to consume? Between 30-65 mg.
- Fish and seafood: the sea is a rich and immense source of pure iodine. Not surprisingly, fish have a high percentage of this mineral. In addition, the group of fish and shellfish is characterized by having vitamins belonging to the B group and other fat-soluble vitamins among which are vitamin A, D and E. The latter can be easily found in white and blue fish. How much to consume? Between 100-256 mg.
- Fruits: Consuming strawberries as part of your diet is an infallible recommendation, for example. One serving is equivalent to meet the daily requirement of vitamin C. They also provide vitamins C, K and folic acid. They also provide vitamins C, K and folic acid. In addition to 10% of the daily dose of iodine (13 micrograms). How much to consume? Between 200-250 gr.
Iodised salt, essential
Iodized salt is the source par excellence when it comes to foods rich in iodine. It is worth emphasizing that it is a dietary source at the international level. However, its consumption is regulated according to each country. For example, if iodized salt is used in the manufacture of certain products such as bread, sausages, cheese and other salty snacks are considered as a source of iodine.
In the case of Chile, since 1979 there is a Mandatory Regulation of the Ministry of Health that states that all salt for human consumption must be iodized with 100 parts per million (ppm) of sodium or potassium iodate.
The WHO recommends
Countries in which 20-90% of households have access to iodized salt should strive to accelerate salt iodization or assess the feasibility of increasing iodine intake, in the form of supplements or iodine-fortified foods, in the most vulnerable groups..
On the other hand, specialists point out that excess iodine can also be counterproductive. For this reason, it is recommended not to use iodinated antiseptics in the skin antisepsis of the mother or newborn, as it can generate iatrogenic (damage caused by acts of doctors).
No doubt that eating foods rich in iodine is important especially in periods of gestation, it is advisable if you are carrying out an assisted reproduction treatment to consult the intake in parallel with a specialist in nutrition.
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