Ensuring you get your daily intake of key nutrients like iodine can significantly improve the way you look and feel
When we’re healthy, it shows in our appearance. Glowing skin, healthy nails and shiny hair are all associated with good health. While many of us rely on an array of beauty products to help us achieve a fresh, vibrant look, there is really no long-term substitute for a healthy lifestyle.
Shampoos, cleansers, make-up and hair products can all give us a brief boost when we look in the mirror, but if we really want to look and feel great on the inside and out, the key pillars of health will always be the food we eat, the sleep we enjoy and the exercise we undertake.
There is no getting away from the fact that vitamins, minerals and nutrients are key to a healthy appearance. This is why introducing good nutritious food sources to our diet is vital. The relationship between food and our physical appearance is as undeniable as it is complex.
The relationship between food and your appearance
It’s impossible to overstate just how important good nutrition is for our health. Not only does what we eat impact the way we feel and the longevity of life, it can also significantly affect the way we look.
Most notably, food impacts our appearance through weight management. The more we rely on certain food groups and fail to control calorie intake the more weight we are likely to put on. In fact, one 2015 study published in The New York Times found calorie control to be more effective than exercise when it came to regulating weight.
But, of course, our diet impacts our appearance in many other ways, too. Our skin is also directly affected by what we eat. Refined sugars found in white bread, sweets, cookies and pastries attach to collagen (the most abundant protein in your body, responsible for elasticity) and break it down in a process called glycation. This can result in fine lines and wrinkles over time. Indulging in a lot of fatty foods can also lead to spots and acne, as has been well documented over the years.
While there are a number of processed foods that can have a detrimental impact on appearance, many other foods can have a positive impact on the way we look when consumed regularly and in moderation. Carotenoids are plant pigments found in foods like peas, spinach and kale, and these can help to reduce dark undereye circles. Vitamins A, B, E and C are vital for hair health and shine, and these are found in the likes of almond butter, tangerines, fish and eggs.
The importance of iodine for your beauty regime
Unlike certain nutrients like vitamin C and E – which are frequently discussed by both health and beauty experts – there are often critical nutrients that go without mention. One of the many undervalued and misunderstood nutrients that can have a positive impact on health and appearance is iodine.
Regular readers of our blog will be familiar with iodine’s importance. This fundamental element promotes healthy thyroid function, which in turn is critical for the maintenance of your metabolism. Achieving adequate iodine consumption can stop your metabolism from becoming sluggish and causing weight gain.
The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has found that iodine also helps to maintain healthy skin, and there’s also evidence that iodine and a normal functioning thyroid contributes to healthy hair and stronger nails too.
Yet despite its importance, deficiency in iodine remains extremely common in the UK. In fact, we are one of just two high-income countries to suffer from iodine deficiency issues. The UK’s National Diet & Nutrition Survey (NDNS) found that 27% of girls aged 11-18 years old achieved less than the minimum amount of iodine required to prevent deficiency. The same was also true for 15% of adult women.
Iodine can be found in many dietary staples, including white fish, seafood and dairy products,of course. But finding plant-based sources of iodine can be more difficult. One study by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) explored iodine levels in participants following either mixed or vegan diets. It found that a third of vegans had iodine levels below 20 micrograms per litre, which is the threshold for serious deficiency defined by the World Health Organisation.
Seaweed as an iodine deficiency treatment
Seaweed is the only viable plant-based source of iodine. It releases iodine gradually, resulting in longer retention within the body compared to artificial sources such as potassium iodide. This helps you achieve the benefits associated with healthy iodine intake, including a healthy metabolism and healthy skin, hair and nails.
Children and adults alike only need a small amount of seaweed to achieve the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), due to its naturally high iodine content. Just one Doctor Seaweed’s Weed & Wonderful® seaweed capsule provides as much iodine as three whole mackerel. Our seaweed is also organic, vegan and kosher certified, making it the optimum choice for advocates of any heathy lifestyle.
Looking good on the outside starts with feeling good on the inside, and seaweed can help you achieve that.