Iodine is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Since the body cannot synthesize this mineral, it’s important to include various iodine rich foods in your diet each day. Fortunately, there are many fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and seafood options that make it easy to get the iodine your body needs each day.
Iodine is an essential mineral that’s vital to the proper functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid gland is responsible for managing growth and metabolism. An iodine deficiency can cause symptoms such as fatigue, high cholesterol, lethargy, depression, and swelling of the thyroid gland. Prevent this dangerous deficiency by eating the right amount of iodine rich foods each day.
In order to get the necessary nutrients, baked potatoes are a better option than mashed potatoes. Most of the important dietary staples, such as fiber, vitamins, and potassium are contained in the skin. Baked potatoes are also a great source of iodine; one medium potato provides about 40% of the recommended daily amount of iodine.
Serving Size (1 medium potato): 60 mcg of iodine (40% DV), 161 calories.
Milk is usually the beverage of choice for anyone who’s worried about a calcium or Vitamin D deficiency. But milk also contains several other nutrients, including the essential mineral iodine. One cup of milk contains an impressive 56 micrograms of the mineral, or about 37% of what the average person must consume each day.
Serving Size (1 cup): 56 mcg of iodine (37% DV), 98 calories.
For iodine deficiency, dried seaweed is the go-to remedy because of its incredible supply of this essential mineral. A quarter-ounce serving contains 4,500 micrograms of iodine. That’s way more than enough iodine for the body to absorb in a day (3000% of the daily value, to be exact.) Consume smaller portions over time in order to gain the health benefits.
Serving Size (1/4 ounce): 4,500 mcg of iodine (3000% DV), 18 calories.
The meat of the cod fish is mild, moist, and delicious. It’s also low-fat, low-calorie, and packed with several nutrients. A three-ounce serving size of cod provides your body with 99 micrograms of iodine, or 66% of the recommended amount per day. Cod is also a healthy source of protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin E.
Serving Size (3 ounces): 99 mcg of iodine (66% DV), 89 calories.
Related: Iodine FAQ for Quality & Safety
Fortified Iodized Salt
Iodine is often confused with salt, but the two are actually very distinct. In terms of chemistry, salt is classified as a crystal, and is composed of two elements: sodium and chloride. Iodine, on the other hand is a mineral. Many brands of salt are fortified with the essential mineral iodine. If you worry you’re not getting enough iodine, check to make sure the salt you’re using is fortified with iodine, and then enjoy it in moderation with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Serving Size (1 gram): 77 mcg of iodine (51% DV), 0 calories.
Seafood is usually a great source of iodine, and shrimp is just one example. A three-ounce serving of shrimp provides 35 micrograms of iodine, or enough to account for just under a quarter of the recommended amount each day. Shrimp also provides your body with other essential minerals, primarily protein and calcium.
Serving Size (3 ounces): 35 mcg of iodine (23% DV), 84 calories.
Himalayan Crystal Salt
If you’re trying to avoid conventional table salt but you’re worried about not getting enough iodine, Himalayan crystal salt is a viable alternative. Half a gram of Himalayan crystal salt provides 250 micrograms of iodine—over 150% of the amount the average body needs each day—so enjoy this special salt in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Serving Size (1/2 gram): 250 mcg of iodine (167% DV), 0 calories.
Related: 20 Healthiest Spices on Earth
Baked Turkey Breast
Three ounces of baked turkey breast meat provides 34 micrograms of essential iodine. That’s about 23% of the daily recommended value. For reference, three ounces of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Turkey also provides your body with B-vitamins, potassium, and phosphorus, all of which are essential to a strong and healthy body.
Serving Size (3 ounces): 34 mcg of iodine (23% DV), 78 calories.
If you’re used to associating dried prunes with the elderly, try giving these sweet fruits a chance. If you don’t, you’ll be missing out on all the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals they have to provide. Just five dried prunes provide your body with essential fiber, boron, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and much more. Prunes are also a good source of iodine, and their many essential nutrients make them a great addition to any diet.
Serving Size (5 prunes): 13 mcg of iodine (9% DV), 120 calories.
Beans are some of the healthiest and most versatile foods on the planet. Enjoy a half-cup serving with any meal, and you’ll provide your body with a respectable amount of protein, copper, potassium, calcium, folate, and iodine. If you’re trying to prevent an iodine deficiency, navy beans are an excellent remedy because of the many additional nutrients they add to your diet.
Serving Size (1/2 cup): 32 mcg of iodine (21% DV), 128 calories.
Related: 10 Benefits of Iodine
Tuna that is canned in oil usually contains more iodine than when it’s canned in water. Three ounces of canned tuna provides 17 micrograms of iodine, or 11% of what the average person must consume per day. Add more tuna to your diet for more iodine, and you’ll also benefit from its high protein, Vitamin D, and iron contents.
Serving Size (3 ounces): 17 mcg of iodine (11% DV), 99 calories.
Hard boiled eggs are a versatile, healthy food that supplies the body with Vitamin A, Vitamin D, zinc, calcium, antioxidants, and more. They’re also consumed for their iodine content. One hard boiled egg provides just under 10% of the iodine needed for the day. For a light and healthy meal, slice a hard-boiled egg over a leafy green and veggie-filled salad.
Serving Size (1 large egg): 12 mcg of iodine (9% DV), 78 calories.
Yogurt is a healthy food that’s often enjoyed at breakfast or as a light snack. It’s known for its high contents of calcium and protein, but it’s also a great option for those looking to increase the iodine in their diet. A cup of plain yogurt provides 58% of the daily recommended value of iodine.
Serving Size (1 cup): 154 mcg of iodine (58% DV), 154 calories.
Eating a banana is a quick and healthy way to get an energy boost, thanks in part to the high potassium content. But many people don’t realize that bananas also contain iodine, making them a healthy and nutrient-rich food to supplement a high iodine diet. A medium-sized banana contains 3 micrograms of essential iodine.
Serving Size (1 medium banana): 3 mcg of iodine (2% DV), 12 calories.
Strawberries are a tasty and nutrient rich fruit that provides your body with many vitamins and minerals. Strawberries are deliciously sweet, but they’re a surprising source of iodine. A one-cup serving contains 13 micrograms of iodine, or just under 10% of what the average person needs to consume in a day.
Serving Size (1 cup), 13 mcg of iodine (9% DV), 46 calories.
Lobster is usually reserved for special occasions, but if you’re suffering from iodine deficiency, a serving of lobster can be a great way to get the boost your body needs. A 100-gram serving of lobster provides 100 micrograms of the essential mineral, or about two-thirds of the recommended daily value.
Serving Size (100 grams): 100 mcg of iodine (67% DV), 98 calories.
Cheddar cheese is a great food choice when you need more iodine in your diet. It’s easy to add a slice to burgers and sandwiches or to sprinkle shredded cheddar over soups and salads. An ounce of cheddar cheese provides 12 micrograms of iodine. As with most cheeses, you should enjoy cheddar in moderation because of its high calorie count.
Serving Size (1 ounce): 12 mcg of iodine (8% DV), 452 calories.
Cranberries have a rich color and a unique flavor. If you’re able to enjoy the sour taste, cranberries provide many health benefits. They have a high concentration of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and fiber, and they’re known to prevent urinary tract infections. They’re also a stellar source of iodine; four ounces of these tart treats contains well over the recommended daily value of iodine.
Serving Size (4 ounces): 400 mcg of iodine (267% DV), 52 calories.
White bread is sometimes discarded as unhealthy fluff, but it actually contains several essential minerals. If you eat it in moderation, it can be a great addition to a balanced diet. If iodine deficiency is a concern, two slices of white bread provide 45 mcg of iodine, or 30% of the recommended daily value.
Serving Size (2 slices): 45 mcg of iodine (30% DV), 132 calories.
If you’re missing that last little bit of iodine in your diet, cook a serving of green beans with your next meal. A half-cup serving contains 3 micrograms of iodine. That’s just enough to net 2% of the daily recommended value. In addition, green beans (also commonly referred to as string beans) are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, and folate.
Serving Size (1/2 cup): 3 mcg of iodine (2% DV), 16 calories.