You need to get enough iodine in your diet or your body won't be able to produce the thyroid hormones, which are responsible for proper metabolism. Iodine may also play a role in immune function. Your body converts iodine in food into iodide, as this is the form of iodine that you are able to absorb and use. The iodine content of foods varies, based on how much iodine is in the soil or the water in the area where the food is from.
Seaweed and Seafood
The water in the ocean contains iodine, so foods that come from the ocean tend to contain significant amounts of iodine. Just 1 gram of seaweed can contain almost 2,000 percent of the daily value for iodine. A 3-ounce serving of cod has about 66 percent of the DV, and the same quantity of shrimp has about 23 percent of the DV. Canned tuna provides about 11 percent of the DV in each 3-ounce serving.
Vegetables aren't the best source of iodine, although most vegetables contain at least a small amount of iodine. A medium baked potato with skin may have as much as 40 percent of the DV for iodine, and a 1/2-cup serving of navy beans has about 21 percent of the DV.
Dairy products can be good sources of iodine. For example, a cup of milk has about 37 percent of the DV, and a cup of plain, low-fat yogurt has about 50 percent of the DV. An ounce of cheddar cheese has about 8 percent of the DV, and a 1/2-cup serving of chocolate ice cream has about 20 percent of the DV for iodine.
In the United States, most table salt is fortified with iodine, making salt a good source of this essential nutrient, with 1/4 teaspoon providing about 47 percent of the DV. Enriched grains can also be a source of iodine, with two slices of enriched white bread containing approximately 30 percent of the DV and a cup of boiled, enriched macaroni providing about 18 percent of the DV.