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15 Amazing Iodine-Rich Foods & Their Health Benefits

15 Amazing Iodine-Rich Foods & Their Health Benefits

Getting enough iodine in your diet is essential.

We need iodine to stay alive and energized, so it’s found in almost every part of the body, in practically every tissue.

Thyroid glands need it for the production of thyroid hormones, which have several important functions in the body.

The body uses iodine to regulate thyroid function, prevent some chronic diseases, and maintain a healthy metabolism.

Iodine deficiency is prevalent in adults due to the insufficient consumption of iodine-rich foods.

There is an estimate that 1/3rd of the population suffers from iodine deficiency, particularly those living in areas where iodine concentration in soil is low. 

Both excess or insufficient iodine in the body can negatively affect thyroid glands and thyroid hormone production.

Listed below are nine food sources high in iodine that can help prevent an iodine deficiency.

Why Is Iodine Important?

This can be explained by looking at the thyroid gland’s functioning.

The thyroid gland is found at the front of the neck. We require it for the metabolism, growth and development of our body.

A steady stream of thyroid hormones (T3, T4) is released into the bloodstream by the gland to help achieve this.

Iodine is necessary to maintain thyroid gland function at its optimum levels.

Iodine deficiencies can cause underactive thyroid glands, where the gland fails to produce enough hormones.

There are undesirable consequences due to this.

An enlarged thyroid gland is the result of the thyroid gland not getting enough iodine for a prolonged period of time.

An abnormally swollen neck characterizes this condition, which is known as goiter.

Ensure you consume sufficient amounts of iodine to prevent any of these problems.

How Much Iodine Do You Need?

The National Institutes of Health suggests that adults need 150 micrograms of iodine daily.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women, however, require 290 micrograms per day, while infants and children both require 130 and 90 micrograms per day respectively.

Health Benefits of Consuming Sufficient Iodine Every day

1. Contributes to Thyroid Health

To make thyroid hormones, including thyroxine, high levels of iodine are required.

A number of biochemical reactions are regulated by thyroid hormones every day. 

Among the most important activities are protein synthesis, digestion, and the development of the nervous and skeletal systems.

A diet low in iodine-rich foods is linked with thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism, which is characterized by a sluggish metabolism, changes in appetite and body temperature, excessive sweating, and mood swings.

Enough of this mineral is essential for preventing goiters or enlarged thyroid.

2. Supports Growth and Development in Children

Iodine is extremely important in the development stage, as it is crucial to the formation of the fetus’ brain tissue and thyroid receptors.

Researchers have found that an iodine deficiency can negatively affect a child’s development and growth.

With a deficiency of iodine, infants are at higher risk of mortality, and they develop neurodegenerative issues, such as cretinism, a sort of mental disability, as well as slow growth, and learning disabilities.

The prevalence of iodine deficiency has now led many health experts to urge pregnant women to consume more iodine-rich foods during their pregnancy and to supplement with iodine.

3. Treating infections

Topically applied liquid iodine provides relief and prevents infections.

Mild cuts and scrapes can be treated with it by kill bacteria.

It is not recommended to use topical iodine on newborn babies.

Furthermore, deep cuts, animal bites, and burns should not be treated with it.

Use it according to the package directions, and don’t use it for longer than 10 days without your doctor’s permission.

Also Read: 17 Surprising Benefits of Shallots for Health

15 Foods High in Iodine for a Healthy Metabolism (Iodine-Rich Foods)

Let’s explore 15 Iodine-Rich Foods that can help prevent an iodine deficiency:

1. Seaweed

Sea vegetables and seafood are the main sources of iodine.

Seaweed is one of the few vegetables that is high in iodine.

The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in seaweed make it an excellent food choice.

Besides providing important nutrients such as potassium, Vitamin A, vitamin C, and plant-based zinc, dried nori seaweed is thin, flaky, and tasty.

There are various forms of seaweed. Kelp, Nori, Kombu, Wakame.

These seaweeds vary in their levels of iodine-based on their type and preparation methods.

2. Cod

There is no doubt that seafood and fish are high in nutrients that are good for you.

You can find iodine in several types of fish, and cod is an excellent choice.

It is a delicate and easily accessible white fish.

In terms of iodine, cod is one of the best sources due to its ability to absorb it from the water and food it consumes.

In addition, cod provides us with vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein.

3. Yogurt

Dairy products, including yogurt, provide most of our iodine requirements.

t should not be a surprise that yogurt contains the mineral since milk does too.

You get 77%  of your daily requirement for iodine from a cup of non-fat Greek yogurt.

It’s important to remember that iodine amounts won’t always be consistent.

Yogurt manufacturers use various milk sources for their products, after all.

Greek yogurt also contains probiotics, which help to keep the immune system and gut healthy.

There’s no easy way to compare iodine levels between products since iodine is not listed on the ingredient label for most products.

The best thing to do in this situation is to focus on purchasing the healthiest yogurt you can.

Try to find products without too much sugar, especially those that do not have many added ingredients. 

4. Milk

Milk is another food that is iodine-rich.

There are around 150 micrograms of iodine in 250ml of milk, according to various studies.

It provides 59% – 112% of your daily requirements of iodine with just one cup of non-fat milk.

Also, you shouldn’t necessarily avoid milk fat as dietary fat helps your body absorb vitamins A, D, E, and K. 

5. Iodized Salt

Including iodized salt in your diet is important.

Approximately 51% of the daily intake of iodine is contained in one-quarter teaspoon of iodized salt.

But it’s important not to douse your food in iodized salt as a high sodium diet raises blood pressure and increases heart disease and stroke risk.

Salt consumption should be limited in general because too much sodium can have negative health effects.

It is very important to realize that processed foods are the main source of our salt consumption and they do not contain iodized salt.

The food label must state whether an item contains iodized salt.

You may be able to avoid a deficiency by opting for iodized salt over other types of salt and using it sparingly.

6. Baked Potato

Iodine is mainly found in seafood and dairy products, however, it is present in certain plants as well.

The humble baked potato is more than just a side dish – it’s an energizing carbohydrate, containing fiber.

As long as you eat both the peel and the potato, you’ll get close to 40% of your daily recommended intake of iodine from just one baked potato.

As they’re often viewed as unhealthy, potatoes might seem strange as a recommendation.

But potatoes are also a good source of potassium and vitamin B6, even though they are relatively high in carbs.

There are other ways to cook your potato as well instead of just baking.

7. Turkey Breast

Meat and poultry do contain a small amount of iodine, but it’s still important.

Almost two-thirds of the daily dose for iodine is found in a 3-ounce serving of baked turkey breast, which also has a good balance of protein and vitamin B12.

Dark meat, such as turkey thighs, has more saturated fat than the white part of the meat, the turkey breast.

Other advantages of Turkey Breast include its relatively low-calorie content and high nutritional value.

Moreover, turkey breast is commonly used in many recipes, so you can be confident that you will enjoy your meal.

8. Cheese

There’s no reason not to eat cheese! Iodine is commonly found in dairy products such as cheese.

Cheddar and mozzarella are your best options when it comes to cheese.

It is considered a healthy snack because it contains bone-building calcium.

Milk products and other foods that heavily rely on dairy will provide iodine as well.

Approximately 9% of daily recommended iodine intake is provided by 1-ounce servings of protein-rich cheddar cheese.

9. Eggs

Eggs are  an important food source of nutrients.

Infants need iodine in order to develop cognitively and mentally. It also affects the level of IQ.

In terms of getting iodine into your diet, egg yolks are one of the easiest and safest options.

Hard-boiled eggs contain more than 6 grams of protein and nearly one-quarter of the Daily requirement of iodine.

They are rich in Iron, Vitamin B12,, Folate, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Protein.

As eggs get their iodine content from chicken feed, you’ll find some variation in their iodine content.

Because the choice of chicken feed can differ between organically raised or free-range chickens, it is possible the eggs from these might contain less iodine than those from farmed chickens.

10. Shrimp

Seafood supplies most of your iodine needs, so if you love this food group, you are already getting most of your iodine requirements.

Shrimps are iodine enriched.

They absorb minerals from seawater and accumulate them in their bodies.

As with most seafood, shrimp provides protein and vitamin B12 and is low in calories.

Three ounces of cooked shrimp can contain 1/10th of the daily recommended intake for iodine and omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to heart health.

They are a great source of vitamins, proteins, healthy fats and minerals.

11. Canned Tuna

You can choose any type of fish that you love because iodine is prevalent in fish.

Some recommend canned tuna since it is inexpensive and easy to find.

Keep a close eye on your tuna intake if you decide to consider it.

In contrast to the presence of high amounts of mercury (certainly isn’t good for your body) in tuna, canned light tuna is usually low in levels of toxins.

There are approximately 34 micrograms of iodine along with protein, vitamin B6 and potassium in every 6-ounce serving of tuna.

12. Prunes

Prunes contain less than 9%-10% of your daily recommended intake of iodine, so they’re not the best option.

In spite of this, prunes are easy to digest and are also packed with fiber.

Prunes will keep constipation at bay and have vitamins and minerals such as Iron, Magnesia, Potassium, Calcium and Vitamin B6.

Sugar is the primary limiting factor in prunes.

Thus, you’ll want to watch your portions to make sure you don’t end up with prunes’ disadvantages and end up receiving their benefits.

14. Lima Beans 

Depending on where the produce is grown, the soil’s iodine content, and irrigation practices, fruits and vegetables have different levels and amounts of iodine.

Some of the nutrients of lima beans include folate, protein, magnesium, fiber and iodine.

Lima beans provide around 10% of the daily requirement for iodine along with the other nutrients in this food.

15. Oysters

It may be possible to get more iodine from oysters than shrimp.

Despite the fact that oysters are typically considered to be a delicacy, the nutrients in them may not be the primary reason you eat them.

Whatever the case may be, oysters are very healthy food.

Men may also benefit from their zinc content since it helps boost testosterone levels.  

What happens when there is excessive iodine intake?

Too much iodine can be as detrimental as an iodine deficiency.

Thyroid papillary cancer and thyroiditis can be caused by excessive iodine intake.

It is also possible to suffer from acute iodine poisoning.

Fever, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and burning in the mouth, throat, and stomach are among the symptoms.

Final Words

Although few food sources contain iodine, it is an important mineral.

This is why so many people suffer from deficiencies around the globe.

Iodine is found most abundantly in seaweed, dairy products, shrimp, tuna and eggs.

Furthermore, iodized table salt can be used to add iodine to meals without much effort.

Not only do these foods contain a high amount of iodine, but they’re also very healthy and easy to incorporate into your diet.

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