10 Healthy Foods That Are Rich in Iodine

Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2022
10 Healthy Foods That Are Rich in Iodine
Eggs and certain seafood items are rich in iodine.

Iodine is an essential trace element. It is found naturally in some foods, added to some forms of salt, and sold as a nutritional supplement.

About 2 million individuals suffer from iodine deficiency worldwide.

  • Currently, one of the major global public health issues is iodine deficiency disorders. Their impact on people's quality of life is subtle and significant.
  • Iodine insufficiency develops when the soil is deficient in iodine, which results in a low concentration in the product, especially in people who do not consume enough iodine.
  • The thyroid's ability to produce enough thyroid hormone could be compromised if iodine needs are not met.
  • The range of functional and developmental problems is primarily caused by the consequent low level of thyroid hormones in the blood.
  • Iodine deficiency has a substantial impact on reproductive processes and lowers intelligence quotient scores in school-aged children. Children's mental development issues are largely caused by iodine deficiency.

What foods are rich in iodine?

Iodine occurs naturally in the soil and the ocean. Different parts of the world have varying levels of iodine in foods.

People in the United States maintain optimal iodine levels in their diets by consuming iodized table salt and iodine-containing multivitamins.

Additionally, foods rich in iodine include:

  • Dairy products
  • Shellfish
  • Meat
  • Bread
  • Eggs

However, the amount of iodine in foods is not disclosed on food packaging in the United States, and it can be challenging to pinpoint the sources of iodine in foods.

10 sources of iodine

  1. Iodized salt: The iodine content in iodized salt is 71 mcg per 1.5 grams or 47 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). In 1920, nations across the world began iodizing their domestic salt.
    • This substantially contributed to the eradication of iodine deficiency (there is still a long way to go though).
    • Iodized salt is now available to 90 percent of Americans. Iodized salt is currently a practical strategy to reduce the iodine shortage in communities.
    • Iodine's highest limit is 1,100 mcg or about four teaspoons (23 grams) of iodized table salt. However, do not rely too much on salt to get your RDA of iodine.
  2. Liver: Beef liver, along with the various other vitamins and nutrients, provides 14 mcg of iodine for a 3-ounce serving.
  3. Eggs: Eggs are the richest animal source of iodine.
    • One hard-boiled egg contains 26 mcg of iodine, which is 17 percent of the RDA.
    • In healthy populations, consuming eggs were linked to better cardiometabolic health.
    • Regular egg consumption was proven to raise levels of beneficial cholesterol. According to studies, iodine in eggs is primarily found in the yolk.
  4. Oysters: Oysters are a rich source of iodine in seafood. Three ounces of cooked oysters have up to 93 mcg of iodine in them, which is about two-thirds of your daily requirement.
  5. Enriched bread: Although bread rarely contains iodine, some producers add “iodate dough conditioner” to their products. As with table salt, these conditioners are applied to the bread to enhance it. Up to 185 mcg of iodine is present in a single slice of white bread that has been treated with iodate.
  6. Prunes: Five dried prunes contain 13 mcg of iodine or 9 percent of the RDA.
    • Because of the simple sugars they contain, prunes are a wonderful source of energy.
    • The high fiber, fructose, and sorbitol content of these sugars could be the reason why they do not produce blood sugar spikes.
    • Additionally, they contain certain phenolic chemicals that could help slow down the absorption of glucose.
    • These phenolic chemicals lower the incidence of chronic illnesses by preventing the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
  7. Corn:
    • One and a half cups of maize contain 14 mcg of iodine or 9 percent of the RDA.
    • In a study, corn emerged as the grain with the highest nutritional value, which includes phenolic compounds. Furthermore, it had the strongest antioxidant activity.
  8. Greek yogurt: Nonfat Greek yogurt is a good source of iodine just like milk. Because Greek yogurt is denser, it contains up to 116 mcg of iodine per eight ounces, which is more than milk.
  9. Seaweed: Iodine can be found in seaweed, which is by far the finest source. Ten grams of dried nori seaweed contains 232 mcg of iodine, which is more than one and half times the RDA.
  10. Shrimp: Three ounces of cooked shrimp contains 19 mcg of iodine, which meets 9 percent of the RDA of iodine.
    • Eat the shrimp with the shell on because the shell has higher iodine contents.
    • Additionally, shrimp includes astaxanthin, a significant antioxidant that gives it its distinctive red color.
    • Beta-carotene, a powerful carotenoid, is less effective than astaxanthin at scavenging free radicals. Cardiovascular disease can be avoided by using dietary supplements that include astaxanthin.


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Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2022
Image Source: iStock image

The changing epidemiology of iodine deficiency. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22473332/

Health Consequences of Iodine Deficiency. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074887/

History of U.S. Iodine Fortification and Supplementation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509517/

Top Foods High in Iodine. https://www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-iodine

Iodine. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iodine-HealthProfessional/#h3

Chemical composition and potential health effects of prunes: a functional food? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11401245/

Antioxidant activity of grains. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12358499/

Bromine and Iodine Contents in Raw and Cooked Shrimp and Its Parts. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26829049/

Astaxanthin: A Potential Therapeutic Agent in Cardiovascular Disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3083660/