Foods High in Iodine
It is important to eat plentiful amounts of iodine-rich foods in your diet.
Iodine is one of the six most important minerals for body health, along with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc. Of course, traces of the remaining dozen minerals are also necessary for the optimum function of body organs and for the maintenance of cellular tissue. However, Iodine is the mineral featured in this article: iodine is so often deficient in people’s diets.
Why Iodine is Important:
Iodine is essential for healthy hair, nails, skin and teeth. A deficiency in iodine will affect your hair growth for sure. Poor mental function, poor eye-sight, lack of energy, and slow growth in children are other symptoms likely to be suffered by people who are deficient in iodine.
Because two thirds of the body’s iodine is stored in the thyroid gland, a deficiency of iodine directly affects the thyroid function, and this disturbance can result in your putting on a lot of weight.It can also lead to goitre and hypothyroidism.
Adults need somewhere between 80-150mcg daily, the guideline being 1 mcg for every kilogram of your body weight. Pregnant women and breast-feeding mums need to keep their intake on the high side of average.
You can over-do iodine if you take supplements, however, you cannot over-dose on iodine if you rely on food to give you your daily requirement of the mineral. It pays to remember, also, that iodine is often destroyed in the processing of foods which would normally hold iodine, and that over-worked soils are often deficient themselves in iodine, so that foods produced on these soils are also deficient in iodine and other minerals, like zinc.
Liquid iodine can be used on the scalp to supplement your iodine intake, and help your hair to regrow: see my posts on ‘Iodine Hair Growth’, ‘Iodine Scalp Hair Remedy’, ‘Regrow Hair’ and ‘Iodine’.
Foods rich in iodine are all those which come from the sea. Sea-water has high amounts of iodine in it, and this is absorbed by all sea life – all sea-water fish, shellfish, and sea-weeds. You absorb a little iodine as you swim in sea-water, and lie on the sand at the beach.
Living by the sea will increase your iodine levels minimally, as the salt spray will be breathed in and settle on the skin where it will be absorbed: this is one reason why sailors generally have excellent eye-sight.
Lobster, shrimp, crayfish, crab,oysters, mussels, abalone, sardines, mackerel and tuna are foods which are all extremely high in iodine.
Sea-salt also contains iodine. This is a more preferable way to take iodine than using iodized salt, which has sodium iodide added to it. The iodine in sea-salt is natural, elemental iodine, and is more easily assimilated than sodium iodide. There is much written on the subject of iodized salt which suggests this could actually be harmful, compounded by the fact that free-flowing agents, like aluminium, are also added to iodized table salt.
Kelp is a valuable source of iodine. Kelp could be substituted for table salt. It should be added to meals to ensure that enough iodine is acquired for the body, especially considering that many vegetables do not have the expected amount of iodine due to being grown on impoverished soils.
Onions, garlic, leeks, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are normally good sources of iodine, however their iodine content depends on how much iodine is in the soils where they were grown.
Root vegetables such as beetroot and carrots, turnips, swede, parsnips, dandelions and salsify, and other vegetables which are deep-rooted, like comfrey, and jerusalem artichokes, are normally high in iodine. The globe artichoke, which belongs to the thistle family, is a rich source of iodine and other minerals and vitamins. The common nettle, which can be boiled as a vegetable or made into a tea, also contains reasonable amounts of iodine.
Milk, butter, yogurt and eggs all contain some iodine.
But kelp is the king of all iodine providers. Just half a teaspoonful of kelp powder provides you with about 1700 mcg of iodine, which well exceeds the dietary standard.