8 Great Sources of Iodine

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Prunes contain iodine

A healthy diet is a great way to ensure you receive a good balance of the nutrients your body requires, including iodine — and you need to make sure you always have enough iodine. Your thyroid depends on it to function and it is the primary element of two essential hormones that regulate metabolic function.[1] Without it, a myriad of problems can occur, including hypothyroidism and reductions in energy.

What are some of the best sources of iodine? In this case, the best place to start is the sea…

1. Sea Vegetables

Oceans contain most of the world’s naturally occurring iodine. As a result, many of the edible plants we harvest from our saltwater seas also contain healthy values of iodine. Dulse Seaweed, Kelp, Kombu, Nori, Sea Palm and Wakame contain iodine. [2] Although these sea veggies offer varying amounts of iodine, they still top the list as one of the best sources for naturally occurring iodine.

2. Seafood

It’s important to be aware of the presence of toxic metals in some fish… unfortunate but true. And, depending on your diet, you may not even eat fish. But, if you do, wild caught, deep water fish like Cod, as well as shellfish and shrimp also offer healthy values of iodine.

3. Eggs

Same goes for eggs, not on everyone’s plate but it is worth mentioning that this nutrient powerhouse has been recommended for pregnant women and young children specifically for its iodine content. [3] One egg contains nearly 16% of the recommended daily value of iodine. Cage-free, organic, and vegetarian fed are a must. If you’ve got a yard, give a thought to even getting your own chickens.

4. Organic Dairy

Not everyone consumes dairy but some people do, for those folks, do know that one cup of milk contains more than one-third of the recommended daily value of iodine. Yogurt and cheese also contain iodine. Cheese contains a lower value of iodine per serving; however, one cup of yogurt contains more iodine than a cup of milk – 50% of the recommended daily value! [2] Recent studies have found that individuals who regularly consume dairy receive good iodine supplementation. [4] This is one choice especially where organic is a must, and preferably raw.

5. Strawberries

These delicious summer berries provide a surprising source of dietary iodine. One cup of strawberries will provide 10% of the daily value. Plus, they have a good amount of vitamin C too!

6. Prunes

Constipated? Eat some prunes. But more than that, prunes offer a lot more than fiber. Like strawberries, prunes provide a healthy serving of iodine and other powerful nutrients in an easy to digest form.

7. Spinach and Dark Leafy Greens

Spinach, turnip greens and swiss chard have been specifically noted for their dietary iodine values. [5] These nutrient dense veggies also offer a highly bioavailable food source for easy digestion.

8. Dietary Supplements

If you’re not getting enough iodine in your diet, for crying out loud, do not simply shrug it off as a loss. Iodine deficiencies can cause problems and it’s so easy to avoid that mess. A nascent iodine supplement is easy to add to your daily routine and does not cost a lot. Be sure that you select a product that offers the most bioavailable materials. There are many fine products available, but there are also supplements that have been created in a lab and include artificial versions of nutrients – versions the human body may not recognize and absorb as well.

Eat the right foods,[6] take a supplement if you need one, and make sure you get enough iodine to keep your thyroid healthy and your metabolism charged!

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  1. Medline Plus. Iodine in diet. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Iodine. (last accessed 2013-08-22)
  3. Ruxton C. Value of eggs during pregnancy and early childhood. Nurs Stand. 2013 Feb 13-19;27(24):41-50; quiz 51.
  4. Perrine CG, Sullivan KM, Flores R, Caldwell KL, Grummer-Strawn LM. Intakes of Dairy Products and Dietary Supplements Are Positively Associated with Iodine Status among U.S. Children. J Nutr. 2013 Jul;143(7):1155-60. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.176289. Epub 2013 May 22.
  5. University of Maryland Medical Center. Iodine. (last accessed 2013-08-22)
  6. Higdon, J, Linus Pauling Institute. Iodine. Last Reviewed: August, 2015.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Michael Labelle

    You mention in your recommendations that iodine is available from several sources, including sea veggies and sea food. That is obvious, as there is iodine in seawater. However, when you mention the other sources, you are assuming there is iodine in either the animal feed or in the soil the plants are grown in. That is a VERY dangerous assumption, since iodine can be a relatively rare mineral in soil.

    My background. My company, Mighty Grow Organics, manufactures poultry litter based fertilizers. I add a trace mineral package to all of my product, a mineral pack that contains naturally occurring iodine. I am working to develop biofortification techniques to increase the mineral content of garden veggies and forages. I will initially focus on the leafy greens, such as spinach, since from all my research they take up trace minerals the easiest and are the best at absorbing foliar nutrients.

    Thanks for the article. It is a very important issue and should be addressed more.

  • Staudenmaier

    Michael Labelle is quite right. You will have a heck of a time trying to get sufficient Iodine from sources other than seaweed. It would be nice to see some numbers here: the Iodine content of foods, and the Iodine deficit in people. Those numbers would startle a lot of people into needed supplementation. Also, consider the effects of Chlorine, Bromine, and Fluorine; they run the Iodine out of your body. We didn’t have this problem until modern times. One needs more Iodine than ever before, and cannot get enough without supplementation or eating a lot of seaweed. I’d recommend Lugol’s Solution; cheap and effective.

  • Syren

    Now with the Fukushima fiasco a full blown disaster, eating Pacific Ocean fish and seafood is now out of the question for the rest of our lives.

  • ghc_health

    Thanks for the information Michael, those are some important points to consider. Your company’s product sounds very interesting, what other nutrients do you add? Noticeable results in the end, harvested product?
    -Dr. Edward Group

  • ghc_health

    You’re correct, there is no way eating a lot of strawberries alone is going to provide your body with enough iodine. Seaweed is among the best dietary options, anything else is mostly a factoid.

    Thank you also for bringing up chlorine, bromine, and fluorine. These are all among the environmental toxins we have working against us.

    -Dr. Edward Group

  • ghc_health

    Ugh, it certainly seems that is a possibility, Syren. Fish are being found in that region with radiation levels 2500x over the limit — at minimum.

  • Laura Nieto

    Dr. Edward Group,
    I have a loved in prison and he has developed a terrible rush all over his body and now his face around his eyes are red and itch.
    He drinks a lot of tap water. I have a feeling that water is causing this problem. He was in another place before where his allergies were down because they given Benedryl daily. Is Benedryl save to take it daily?
    Do you have any easy solution to clean the tap water from all those chemicals? The only thing he can use maybe is salt? They don’t allow anything to have it, like supplements for cleansing his system.
    Thank you!

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