Bollywood star Sonam Kapoor warns vegans and vegetarians about iodine deficiency

The star has been vegan for more than two years

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 16:  Sonam Kapoor visits the IWC booth during the Maison's launch of its Jubilee Collection at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) on January 16, 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. #IWC150  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for IWC)
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Vegan Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor has opened up about her struggles with iodine deficiency.

The star, who has been following a plant-based diet for more than two years, told her 21.1 million followers that she had just found out she had been suffering with the deficiency, issuing a warning to other vegetarians and vegans.

"Just a note to all the vegetarians and vegans out there. Please make sure you're using salt with iodine in it," she said in an Instagram story. "I've just found out I have an iodine deficiency and table salt is the easiest way to get iodine."

Sonam Kapoor shared the advice with her 21.1 million Instagram followers. Sonam Kapoor / Instagram

Iodine is an essential element of the diet for the manufacturing of hormones by the thyroid gland, helping you keep a healthy metabolism. A lack of iodine in the diet can cause swelling in the neck, pregnancy-related problems, hair loss and weight gain.

It is a common problems among those following vegan or vegetarian diets, as seafood is one of the best sources of iodine. Fortified bread, seaweed and iodised salt are also good sources.

Around a third of people worldwide are thought to suffer with iodine deficiency, most commonly in South Asia, New Zealand and European countries, due to lack of iodine in the soil.

Three ways to get more iodine in your diet

1. Snack on seaweed

Seaweed snacks, popular in Japan, are packed full with iodine and are a good way to top up levels in your everyday diet. A one gram portion can contain anywhere between 16 to 2,984 micrograms.

2. Season with salt

As Kapoor said in her message, salt with added iodine can be one of the easiest ways to get your fix. A quarter of a teaspoon of iodised table salt provides around 95 micrograms of iodine. Although, too much salt can have a negative impact in other parts of your diet, so try to mix with other sources of iodine.

3. Eat more seafood

Seafood is packed full of iodine, alongside a host of other nutrients. A 85g portion of cod contains around 99 micrograms of iodine, and the same amount of shrimp contains around 30 micrograms. Tuna, sea bass and haddock are also iodine-rich fish.