Foods that are rich in iodine helps support healthy thyroid function. Iodine-rich foods include seafood (cod, oysters, shrimp, tuna), seaweed (wakame, kelp), iodized salt, dairy products (milk, yogurt, sour cream), eggs (but not egg whites due to the risk for salmonella contamination), and grains (brown rice).
Foods that are rich in iodine are of great benefit to the body. Potassium iodide serves as a simple electrolyte in the human body, supporting multiple functions. The thyroid gland is the only gland in the endocrine system that requires iodine for its formation and activity. It is a vital component for creating and regulating hormones. Additionally, potassium iodide protects the cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Iodine is important for fetal brain development during pregnancy, so it is crucial to consume foods with iodine while pregnant. Most people do not require supplementation unless they are low on iodine or not getting enough iodine through diet alone.
The following are the most common foods that are rich in iodine. These are all easy additions to your diet to help increase your daily intake of this important mineral.
This article explores 9 iodine-rich food sources that can help prevent a deficiency.
Seaweed is a traditional food that has been used as a source of iodine for people for over 1,500 years. Iodine is an essential trace mineral used by the body to produce thyroid hormones. These hormones influence how our bodies use energy and aid in cell function and growth. Seaweed is one of the best natural sources of iodine. However, the amount can vary significantly based on seaweed type, the region in which it grew, and its preparation.
Three popular seaweed varieties include kombu kelp, wakame, and nori
2. Kombu Kelp
Kombu kelp is one of the richest sources of natural iodine. Iodine is an essential trace mineral for human health. It is required for proper thyroid function which affects muscle metabolism, brain development, energy level, and many other important functions in the body.
Seaweed is a type of algae that grows near seawater. There are different types of seaweed and most contain quite a bit of iodine. Kombu kelp is a type of seaweed that can contain up to 2,984 mcg of iodine per sheet which provides almost 2,000% of your daily requirement. The consumption of kelp seaweed, especially kombu kelp, is comparable to the consumption of iodized salt in terms of iodine consumption.
Wakame seaweed has many health benefits that may surprise you. It is rich in both calcium and minerals such as iron and iodine. Wakame is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin B1, and vitamin C. This means it can also be used externally to promote healthy skin and hair. Wakame is a type of seaweed that is rich in vitamins and minerals, including iodine. Not only does it taste great, but it also contains folic acid.
Wakame seaweed contains a high content (approximately 66 mcg per gram) of iodine. Iodine deficiency is associated with an increased risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects in newborns.
Nori is a type of red seaweed that is often used in sushi rolls. Whether the nori is the type that is sliced thinly or just sprinkled on top, it can be a tasty addition to your sushi. It may provide some trace amounts of iodine, although it has a much lower content than other types of seaweed.
It has up to 43 micrograms of iodine per gram, which is about 11–29% of the Daily Value for this mineral. This seaweed also provides small amounts of other essential minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and iron.
Tuna is a reddish-pink fish that can be bought in cans or found in your store’s seafood department. Tuna is not only an excellent source of protein, but it is also rich in iodine. If you are looking for a rich source of iodine, tuna is a good seafood pick. Iodine is an essential macro-mineral necessary for many bodily processes and health, including thyroid function.
Tuna is a lean, low-calorie fish with a mild flavor, making it one of the most popular varieties of fish. Tuna is sometimes used as an ingredient in various dishes, including casseroles, salads, and sandwiches. Like other fish varieties, including salmon and mackerel, tuna is commonly available canned or fresh.
Eggs are a nutritionally dense food and a favorite among many. But they are also a reliable source of iodine, a mineral your body needs to produce thyroid hormones responsible for things like regulation of metabolism. For fewer than 100 calories, one whole egg provides a lean source of protein, healthy fats and a wide assortment of vitamins and minerals.
Eating a range of whole foods, including eggs, is the best way to get the nutritional benefits you are looking for. For more information on eggs and other food sources of iodine.
7. Iodized Salt
Iodized table salt contains the necessary nutrients to help keep your body functioning properly. When consumed, iodine forms a compound with an amino acid called tyrosine to make the essential thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. The amount of iodine added to iodized table salt varies from country to country, ranging from 50 micrograms per kilogram of salt to 13 milligrams per kilogram of salt.
In most cases, a diet rich in iodine can meet our need for an essential nutrient. In some areas where the soil is deficient in iodine, food is grown with added iodine. However, if your diet is low in fish and seafood, some vegetables and dairy products, or if you live in a goitre area, it may be necessary to use iodized salt.
iodized salt is a mixture of table salt and potassium iodide (KI). The KI is an essential ingredient and makes ordinary table salt safe to eat. Potassium iodide prevents iodine deficiency, the leading cause of preventable mental impairment worldwide. Forty-three percent of households in developing countries still use non-iodized salt. In addition, many individuals who live in hot climates consume less fluids than those living in cooler climates. Both factors decrease the likelihood that small amounts of iodized salt will be absorbed into the body.
The mineral iodine is essential for healthy thyroid function, but it can be difficult to get enough of this nutrient through diet alone. Some dairy products are good sources of this element, including certain types of cheese and milk. The amount of iodine in these foods varies greatly based on the cows’ diet, so you may want to check the label for nutritional information about specific dairy products.
Dairy is a great source of iodine, especially for vegetarians who may eat little in the way of meat products. Cows are fed iodine-rich salts to boost milk production—one reason that milk is sometimes called “white bread in a glass.”
Nearly all cow’s milk (17 out of 18 brands tested) had at least 88 mcg of iodine per cup, and some had as much as 168 mcg of iodine per cup. Cow’s milk was the winner of this study. However, goat’s milk was also high in iodine. A cup of goat’s milk had about 86 mcg of iodine.
Dairy foods are a good source of iodine. 1 cup of milk from cows, sheep, or goats provides 59–112% of the daily value for iodine. Milk from cows contains more iodine than other types of milk. Yogurt typically contains small amounts of iodine because the starter cultures used in making yogurt contain a higher proportion of iodine than other dairy products. Iodine deficiency can result in goitre and hypothyroidism. Deficiency in children may impair physical and mental development.
Dairy is an excellent source of iodine. Just one cup of cottage cheese provides 65 mcg, while one ounce of cheddar cheese provides about 12 mcg.
Shrimp is a small, white-coloured crustacean that is low in calories and very high in protein. Along with providing protein, shrimp contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs to build and repair tissue. Shrimp help boost your levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind) while lowering LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind). And unlike other shellfish, shrimp are free of mercury. When eating shrimp or other shellfish, be aware of portion size. A serving is about five to six medium-sized shrimp or four jumbo shrimp.
Shrimp provides your body with many essential nutrients, such as protein and iodine. Iodine plays an important role in the metabolism of several different elements in the human body, including red blood cells. The recommended daily intake of iodine is 150 mcg, with seafood being one of the most effective natural sources.
Cod are popular fish found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mediterranean. The thick white flesh of this fish is plump with water, which gives it a delicate texture. Its mild flavour means it can be used for all types of dishes, depending on the way it is cooked. Cod is great for frying because of its low oil content. They can also be baked, grilled or poached to perfection.
Cod is an excellent source of protein, iodine, vitamin B12 and selenium. It also packs a good amount of zinc, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and manganese. The fish is low in sodium and saturated fat.
By including fish, fruits, and vegetables in your diet, you can help maintain a healthy thyroid gland. The nutrient iodine is especially important for this function. Cod has a high concentration of iodine—42–66% of the recommended daily intake in just 3 ounces (85 grams).
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