Iodine is an important nutrient to help body cells function and helps the thyroid gland to work properly. If a person’s diet lacks iodine, in a few months he or she will begin showing symptoms of iodine deficiency like hypothyroidism or a grotesque growth in the neck called a goiter. For an unknown reason, women are more likely to suffer from iodine deficiency than men.
What About Iodized Salt?
Although iodized table salt has become the main source of iodine in the modern diet, many people need to be on low-salt diets to maintain a healthy heart and body weight. There are also nutritional supplements containing iodine, but quality can vary significantly from brand to brand. The best way to get the right amount of iodine is by eating iodine rich foods.
The cheap and cheerful baked potato is one of the most inexpensive of iodine rich foods. The majority of iodine in a potato is located in the skin, so eat the skin as well as the “flesh” of the potato. One medium-sized potato contains abut 60 micrograms of iodine. This is a good way to help you reach the daily recommended intake of 150 micrograms for people over 14.
Iodine is contained not only in cow’s milk, but in goat’s milk and products made with it. People who are unable to drink cow’s milk or eat cheese can try goat’s milk and goat’s milk cheese. But those who can drink one cup of cow’s milk per day will receive about 55 micrograms of iodine, making milk one of the best iodine rich foods that are easily available. One cup of organic yogurt contains about 90 micrograms of iodine.
Cranberries or Cranberry Juice
The humble cranberry is one of the world’s best iodine rich foods. A mere 4 ounces of fresh cranberries contains 400 micrograms of iodine – much more than you actually need. Cranberries are also notoriously sour, so eating them one right after the other is a bit difficult. Drinking cranberry juice can help you get your daily supply of iodine. Do not choose juices that are only mixed with a little bit of cranberry juice and water.
One cup of fresh or frozen strawberries contains 13 micrograms of iodine. You can place these in dairy products like yogurt to get a double dose of tasty iodine goodness. These must be strawberry fruit and not strawberry jam or anything made with cooked strawberries. Cooking knocks strawberries off of the list of iodine rich foods.
Kelp is edible seaweed often found in the Oriental foods section of grocery stores. If you can’t find kelp, you can try other iodine- rich sea vegetables such as kombu, arame and wakame. These can be cooked or sprinkled into soups and sauces.
Himalayan Crystal Salt
This is a natural, tasty type of salt that can be difficult to find. But it is about the best iodine rich foods on the planet. Only one-half gram of Himalayan table salt gives you about 250 micrograms of iodine – much more than you actually need.