A trace element that's essential for thyroid function, iodine is present in few foods, but dairy foods are one nutritious source of iodine. In fact, dairy foods are among your best choices for getting the 150 micrograms of iodine you need each day because the mammary glands tend to concentrate iodine, according to Jim Mann and Stewart Truswell, authors of "Essentials of Human Nutrition."
An 8-ounce serving of reduced-fat milk contains 56 micrograms of iodine. That translates to 37 percent of the 150 micrograms healthy adults need daily. With 51 micrograms of iodine, fat-free milk contains slightly less iodine than reduced-fat versions. Whole milk and chocolate milk also contain iodine.
Most cheese contains some amount of iodine, but the exact amount depends on what type of cheese you're eating. An ounce of cheddar cheese, for example, contains 12 micrograms of iodine, which is 8 percent of the amount you need for the day. Mozzarella cheese is a good source of iodine as well, according to HealWithFood.org. Sheep and goat cheese supply iodine, too.
In addition to being a good source of calcium and protein, yogurt is also a nutritious dietary source of iodine. A cup of plain, fat-free yogurt has 75 micrograms of iodine, which translates to 50 percent of what you should have for the day. Fruit-flavored yogurt also contains iodine, but the exact amount depends on how much iodine was in the milk used to make the yogurt.
Though desserts shouldn't have a starring role in your healthy eating plan because they often contain large amounts of unhealthy saturated fat and sugar, they do offer some benefits, including iodine. A 1/2-cup serving of chocolate ice cream, for example, supplies 30 micrograms of iodine, which is one-fifth of what you should aim to get each day. Frozen yogurt, pudding and custard all contain iodine, though the exact amount depends on how much milk or cream the recipe requires.