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List of Foods Rich in Iodine

author image Susan Kaye
Susan Kaye writes about alternative health care, the medicinal value of foods and natural remedies for healing body, mind and spirit. She is currently retired from an active classical homeopathy practice and enjoys sharing her passion for alternative medicine in her writing with those seeking health care freedom.
List of Foods Rich in Iodine
A woman eats yogurt high in iodine. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Iodine is a mineral essential to healthy growth of the human body. It plays a central role in thyroid function, and a deficiency in iodine is responsible for creating hypothyroidism. The incidence of iodine deficiency in the United States has been greatly reduced through the use of iodized salt; however, certain other foods are rich in iodine that gives the body what it needs for normal growth and function. Combine iodine-rich foods to meet your recommended daily intake of 150 micrograms.

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Seafood and Meat

Prawns with a salad.
Prawns with a salad. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Exceedingly rich in iodine, fish are a primary source for this trace mineral. Most fish are able to extract and concentrate iodine from seawater. Two of the highest sources of iodine are cod and shrimp -- they contain 198 and 70 micrograms per serving, respectively. Tuna also contains iodine -- 34 micrograms per 6-ounce portion -- and 3 ounces of turkey breast boosts your iodine intake by 34 micrograms.

Iodized Salt

A shaker of iodized salt.
A shaker of iodized salt. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

The primary source in the United States for iodine comes from manufactured, iodized salt. It consists of regular table salt combined with minuscule amounts of iodine-containing salts. Iodized salt has become a standard for use in the United States and is found in almost all packaged foods that have been pre-salted. A gram of iodized salt contains 77 micrograms of iodine.

Kelp and Other Seaweeds

Seaweed wrapped sushi.
Seaweed wrapped sushi. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

Brown seaweed kelp as well as other forms of seaweed such as wakame and nori are rich in iodine, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) reports, and are excellent to add to foods for their high nutrient content. Add kelp as seasoning or use it as a supplement in pill form. The iodine content of seaweed varies, but it can exceed 4,500 micrograms per quarter-ounce serving, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese

Bead and cheese on a cutting board.
Bead and cheese on a cutting board. Photo Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Yogurt and other dairy products are usually rich in iodine due to having had iodine added to animal feeds by dairy farmers, the Linus Pauling Institute reports. Amounts of iodine tend to be lower in the summer when cows are allowed to graze where soil content is lower in iodine. A cup of milk 56 micrograms of iodine.

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