Get Your Iodine From These FoodsBy Paul Rothbart
Iodine deficiency is a problem that is still common in some parts of the world. An essential mineral, iodine is vital to the thyroid's ability to produce hormones that regulate brain and body development as well as metabolize food for energy. Many brands of salt are iodized as there aren't many foods that naturally contain significant amounts of the mineral. Fortunately, the foods that do contain iodine are readily available in most places.
Fish and Shellfish
Many iodine-rich foods come from the sea. Fish and shellfish are generally excellent sources of the mineral. A nice plus discovered by the Icelandic Food Content Database is that low-fat fish tend to have the most iodine. That adds an extra health benefit to cod, haddock, sea bass, perch, and tuna. Note that wild-caught fish has higher iodine levels than farm-raised. Pretty much any kind of shellfish will contain significant amounts of iodine.
Yet another ocean-based food that contains iodine is seaweed. Wakame, nori, and kombu kelp are edible types of seaweed used often in sushi, miso soup, and other Japanese dishes. They have a nice flavor and texture and are loaded with iodine. Kombu kelp has the highest level of iodine and wakame has the second-highest content. They are brown seaweeds. Nori is a red variety and has less iodine but still enough to contribute to your body's iodine needs.
Plant Foods Grown in Soil Rich in Iodine
It will take some research, but if you can determine that vegetables and fruits were grown in regions where the soil contains iodine, it will transfer to the plants. These types of produce are excellent sources of iodine and can give you more variety in your iodine foods.
Some Dairy Products
Similar to plants, milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products that come from animals that are nourished with iodized feeds can also provide plenty of iodine. This can also be hard to determine as information on how dairy cows are fed is not readily available. Buying from local sources and farmers markets can be helpful as you can ask the farmer directly. The sanitizers used to clean milk-gathering and processing equipment can also affect the iodine content of dairy.
Eggs are very healthy foods and good sources of iodine. The yolk contains the most and a hard-boiled egg contains about 26 micrograms of iodine. Like dairy and plants, the amount of iodine in eggs is variable depending upon how much iodine the chickens ingest. Eggs are another food item that is usually better purchased from local farmers.
The body requires many vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Iodine is as important as any of them and a deficiency of this mineral can cause health problems. Adding these foods to your diet can ensure that you get enough iodine to help keep you healthy.
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