Iodine is much more than a chemical you used to experiment with in science class. In fact, iodine is an important part of our diets! This chemical is necessary for the formation of thyroid hormones, which allow the body to keep a healthy metabolic rate, and to keep cells healthy.
Generally you only need 0.14mg of iodine each day, which isn’t that much – but if you feel like you’re not getting enough, there are lots of ways you can boost this intake. You will usually get what you need from a balanced and varied diet, but in a busy world, it can be difficult to keep to a strict diet.
Remember, however, that eating too much iodine can cause problems. If you consume food that is high in iodine in too large a quantity, your thyroid gland will begin to malfunction. The most common symptom of this is gaining weight, so be careful how much you consume.
If you want to ensure you get your daily dose of iodine, and keep your thyroid in good shape, take a look at these 10 foods that are extremely rich in iodine.
1. Baked potato
A baked potato will contain around 60 micrograms of iodine and around 160 calories, making it extremely healthy and amazing for your thyroid, too. In order for you to get the nutrients from a potato, it’s important to bake them and not mash them. This is because a lot of the nutrients are actually found in the skin and not the flesh.
One baked potato will give you just less than half of the amount of iodine you need in one day.
2. Green beans
Green beans will give you around 3 micrograms if iodine in half a cup, which isn’t really that much – but it is a boost nonetheless. This is only about 2% of your daily requirement, so why not couple the beans with a baked potato?
These beans also contain potassium, folate and plenty of vitamin C.
The whole world is telling you to eat brown bread these days, and while it is certainly healthier for you in lots of respects, it doesn’t contain as much iodine. White bread is ideal for people with an iodine deficiency, as just two slices of it will contain about 30% of the iodine you need in one day. This is about 45 micrograms overall – and, the bread still only comes to about 132 calories.
Cranberries are the deep red berries that have a flavour that is incomparable to any other fruit. The berries are rich in iodine, containing around 400 micrograms in a four ounce serving, which is well over twice the amount of your daily requirements. If you like eating cranberries, be sure to restrict the quantity that you eat to only a small amount each day, as over a long period of time it could have an adverse effect on your thyroid.
Cod is a common and popular fish that is actually being replaced by other cheaper fish at the moment, as a result of its numbers being depleted in recent years. Regardless, it is still a great source of iodine. It also contains lots of other nutrients, including calcium, protein and vitamin E, making it perfect for keeping your bones healthy.
In a typical three ounce serving you’ll get around 100 micrograms of iodine.
6. Dried seaweed
Popular in Asian food, dried seaweed is extremely rich in iodine, meaning it’s something you shouldn’t eat all the time. A small quarter ounce serving contains a massive 4,500 micrograms of iodine, which is over 3,000% of the amount you need in one day.
Be sure to consume it in small portions when you do eat it, in order to gain the health benefits without causing any problems with your thyroid.
Shrimp, just like most seafood, is a good source of iodine. In a typical three ounce serving you’ll get about a quarter of the iodine that you need in a day. Shrimp also contains other essential nutrients and minerals, including calcium and protein. This means shrimp is good for bone health and helps you maintain strong and healthy muscles.
8. Dried prunes
Full of fiber and great for keeping your digestive system in check, dried prunes contain about 10% of your daily iodine requirements in a serving of five. They also contain boron, vitamin Na and K, as well as many other important nutrients that make them an important part of a healthy and varied diet.
9. Boiled eggs
The last thing you’d expect to be in a boiled egg is iodine, but they do in fact contain about one tenth of the iodine you need in one day. This is just one large hardboiled egg, and it contains vitamins A and D, too. It’s also rich in calcium and antioxidants, making them great for maintaining good health and keeping your cells in good working order.
Combine a boiled egg with healthy vegetables and you have a great lunchtime meal that packs a nutritional punch.
10. Regular yogurt
Plain yogurt, that has not been infused with sugars, is a great healthy snack and can form part of a healthy breakfast. Regular, plain yogurt will give you over half of your daily iodine requirements in just one cup, making it great for people with an iodine deficiency. It is also low in calories, with that same cup of yogurt containing just 150 calories. This makes yogurt an ideal snack or a great part of a healthy breakfast which can be combined with fruit and oatmeal.