Iodine and your diet

Barbara Wilson

Thyroid function is vital to our health and well-being – poor thyroid function limits the metabolic rate, causing our bodies to slow down. Weight gain can be an unpleasant side effect of impaired thyroid function and for our thyroid gland to function to the best of its ability, we need iodine in our diet.

Iodine is needed to produce the vital thyroid hormone thyroxine. A deficiency of iodine can cause symptoms similar to those associated with hypothyroidism, such as feeling tired or lethargic, weakness and dry skin.

The best dietary sources of iodine generally come from the sea –fish and seaweed are the most plentiful sources of iodine but fruit and vegetables grown in coastal areas and milk from cows fed in coastal areas are also significant sources.

Although deficiency of iodine is relatively rare, make sure you get enough iodine by including seafood in your diet every week.

Fish Cakes

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.

Drain and flake a 200g can of pink salmon, removing the skin and bones. Mix this with 200g cooked white fish such as cod, 200g mashed potato, 1 tbs Dijon mustard and 1 tbs each of chopped chives and parsley. Beat together an egg and an egg white and add enough to bind the mixture together. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Shape into rounds, coat in the remaining egg and then toss in 50g breadcrumbs. Bake in a preheated oven for around 20 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with green salad.

Makes 4 fish cakes.
Nutritional Information: 270 calories, 7g of fat and 28g carbs (3 Units) per serving.

Grilled Tuna with Ginger and Orange

Heat a griddle pan over a medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Cook 2 tuna steaks, about 200g each, for 4-5 minutes on each side or until just pink in the middle. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Add 4 chopped spring onions, a crushed clove of garlic and ½ - 1 inch ginger, grated, to the pan, along with 200ml orange juice. Simmer for a few minutes and while this is cooking, steam or microwave 200g fresh spinach. Serve the tuna with the sauce and spinach.

Makes 2 servings.
Nutritional information: 340 calories, 10g fat and 12g carbs (4 Units)

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