Iodine is an important mineral for normal physical and mental growth. Much of the body's iodine is found in the thyroid gland, which secretes hormones related to normal metabolism, body temperature, growth and muscle function. Its lack can lead to goiter and impeded mental and physical growth.
Seafoods such as clams, oysters and seaweeds are rich sources of iodine. People living near seacoasts are not as prone to iodine deficiency as those living inland or in the mountains. Another source of iodine is iodized salt. Ii is a salt which undergoes a process to absorb the mineral iodine, which it does not normally contain. Iodized salt may be fine or coarse and may be sold packed or unpacked.
Iodized salt loses its iodine when subjected to heat. To avoid losing the iodine in the salt, it is advisable to add iodized salt after cooking. The iodized salt should be placed away from heat or direct sunlight.