Iodine Rich Foods


Iodine is a principal trace element that is important for the normal function of thyroid gland that produces thyroid hormones. Adequate intake of dietary iodine is essential to ensure the proper function of thyroid gland that performs various vital functions such as the regulation of normal cellular metabolic rate, detoxification, calcium homeostasis, growth and development of body. Reduced intake of dietary iodine results in iron deficiency, accompanied by hypothyroidism associated with thyroid swelling (goiter), fatigue,lethargy, suppressed immune function, autism, slow metabolism, weight gain, depression and anxiety to include a few. Hence, sufficient intake of dietary iodine plays a crucial role in maintaining thyroid function. Read on to learn some of the iodine rich foods that are sufficient enough to boost the iodine levels in the body, thus contributing to normal health.


In general, any seafood is considered as a rich source of iodine as the seawater contains high amounts of iodine. One of the most edible vegetable and seaweed that contain abundant amounts of iodine is, the Kelp. It is available in dried or fresh form as kombu, especially in the specialty stores or grocery stores of Asia. Dried kelp can be soaked in water before cooking. It can be either served as a salad or as side vegetable.


Eggs are one among the most commonly advised iodine food sources. More over, the iodine content of each egg widely varies as it depends on the amount of iodine that was been fed to the hen that produces eggs. Majority of the eggs (each large egg weighing 50 grams)are estimated to contain an iodine level ranging from between 13 and 70 mcg. However, a hen that feeds on iodine rich diet can produce an egg that contains up to 200 mcg of iodine. The best way to reap the iodine benefits of eggs is to include a portion of shrimp omelet to the diet as the shrimp is another good source of iodine.

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One of the oldest leafy vegetables that have been taken by the humans since historical times is Watercress. Watercress sprigs, which are most commonly used for garnishing the foods, contain abundant iodine. Apart from being an iodine source, it also contains various other health boosting nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, B vitamins, calcium, vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. In addition, watercress is best advised for those on a vegan diet as it is one of the best plant based iodine source.

Sea vegetables

The sea is a largest storage home of iodine rich sources that contains Hiziki, Kelp, Kombu, Arame, and Wakame. Kelp is known to contain highest iodine level in the world and a single serving provides more than 4 times the recommended daily requirement of iodine. The amount of iodine found in 1 tablespoon of the above mentioned sea vegetables is as follows: About 2000/mcg of iodine is available in a teaspoon of Kelp, 730/mcg of iodine in a tablespoon of Arame, 780/mcg of iodine in a tablespoon of Hiziki, 80/mcg of iodine in a tablespoon of Wakame, and 1450/mcg of iodine in an inch of Kombu. These foods can be just sprinkled in salads or soups.

Dairy Products

Similarly as eggs, the Iodine level in milk products can widely vary based on the amount of dietary iodine intake of cows. It has been recognized that the iodine level of milk depends on a season as the milk produced by a cow during winter is estimated to contain much higher levels of iodine than the milk produced by the cow during summer. In general, the average iodine level in one cup of milk has been reported to contain between 58 and 116 mcg. It has been estimated that the milk produced by the goats and sheep are much higher in iodine content. Mozzarella cheese is known to be a richest source of iodine among all other dairy products. Other iodine containing sources include probiotic dairy products like yogurt,cheese, ice cream and butter milk to include a few dairy products. However, the iodine content in these foods mainly depends on the type and source of the dairy product.

Foods fortified with iodine or Iodized Salt

It has bee reported by the research that one can meet with iodine requirements of the body by the intake of iodized foods and salt. The WHO and other health organizations have been engaged in setting up the national salt iodination standards in many countries that includes incorporation of iodine to the salt. Iodizing salt is considered as an essential medium to overcome the dietary deficiency of iodine as its cost is extremely low and is the most commonly consumed in any type of cuisine. According to UNICEF,iodized salt has been accessed by approximately around 66% of households all across the globe.

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