What is Iodine?
Iodine is an essential mineral that plays a key role in the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Without this element, hypothyroidism is unavoidable, which can manifest in countless different symptoms, including fatigue, depression, weight gain, cognitive difficulty, and compromised fine motor skills. As an infant or child, a deficiency in this nutrient can lead to permanent cognitive disability. It is the heaviest element commonly used by living organisms, but also one of the most common deficiencies in the world, with an estimated 2 billion people suffering from a lack of this mineral. It is found in a number of readily available foods and is necessary for proper metabolic activity within your body.
Most of the peripheral benefits of having proper iodine levels relate to the other hormonal/metabolic activities in your body. Experts recommend at least 150 micrograms of iodine per day, but this level may be higher depending on your specific medical conditions, particularly if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Iodine Rich Foods
If you eat 10 dried prunes every day, you will get 26 micrograms of iodine, which is about 18% of the daily requirement. The level of fiber, potassium, iron, and vitamin K further make this an all-around healthy food option.
Fish are very good sources of iodine in the diet, and tuna is no exception. With 17 micrograms of iodine in every 3-ounce serving, this is one of the easiest ways to boost your iodine intake. Tuna is also rich in potassium, magnesium, and selenium, along with beneficial fatty acids that can protect heart health.
For those who love beans, iodine should never be a problem, considering that 1 cup of navy beans delivers 64 micrograms of this essential nutrient, more than 40% of your daily requirement. This is in addition to dietary fiber and various key minerals the body needs.
One ounce of cheddar cheese offers about 12 micrograms of iodine or 9% of your daily needs. However, the different cheese will vary in their concentration of this element. Furthermore, cheese is quite high in calories, so this shouldn’t be counted on as a primary source of iodine.
When it comes to iodine-rich foods, organic potatoes rank very highly, considering that 1 medium-sized baked potato provides 60 micrograms of this nutrient. That is 40% of what your body needs every day, along with high levels of carbohydrates to provide energy and satiate hunger.
One of the best sources of iodine in the diet is cod, as it contains roughly 100 micrograms in a 3-ounce serving of this fish. That is more than 65% of your daily requirement of this nutrient, and cod also has high levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
When it comes to breakfast foods, organic yogurt is the best for iodine levels, with more than 150 micrograms per cup. That means that you can satisfy your entire daily requirement of iodine by the end of breakfast!
Not only are cranberries famed for their impact on urinary tract infections, they also contain 400 micrograms of iodine in only four ounces. That equates to more than 250% of your daily recommended intake.
Not nearly as impressive as cranberries, strawberries contain 13 micrograms of iodine, equating to just under 10% of what you need each day.