Five Sources of Iodine and their Benefits

By:Meenakshi Chaudhary, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Dec 15, 2014

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Iodine is a crucial mineral that helps the body to perform several body functions, however it is quite common to find iodine deficiency in people around the world. Iodine has several health benefits and there are several foods that are rich in it.
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    Iodine:An Essential Element

    Out of all the crucial minerals that your body needs, iodine is an essential trace element that your body requires for normal growth and development. Around 60% of the iodine in the body is stored in the thyroid gland, which secretes thyroid hormones that control the basic metabolic rate of the body. Iodine controls the functioning of thyroid glands in human body, which in turn has a significant influence on the metabolic processes in the body. The health benefits of iodine also include better utilization of calories, preventing its storage as excess fats. It also helps in the removal of toxins from the body and assistance for the system in utilizing calcium and silicon. Image Courtesy : Getty


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    Symptoms of Deficiency

    Iodine plays crucial role in several body functions and its deficiency may lead to health problems, including increased risk of some severe complications. The most common symptoms of iodine deficiency include frustration, abnormal weight gain, depression, mental retardation, poor perception levels, goiter, decreased fertility, and coarse skin, chances of still birth in expectant mothers, constipation and fatigue. In severe cases Iodine deficiency may result in severe mental retardation associated with diseases such as cretinism. According to WHO, iodine deficiency is one of the leading causes of mental retardation around the world. You should include more iodine in your regular diet. Here are some of the best sources of iodine. Image Courtesy : Getty

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    Cranberries are great source of iodine. The fruit tastes nice and is easy to digest which makes it one of the best ways to get the required amount of iodine intake. Cranberries are also rich in antioxidants which make them even better for your health. About 120 gm of cranberries contain approximately 400/mcg of iodine. Another advantage with cranberries is that you can have them as fresh fruits as well as enjoy a serving of cranberry juice. However, if you buy packed cranberry juice from the store, read the label first for its sugar content. It's better to eat fresh fruits than drink their packaged juices with added sugar. Image Courtesy : Getty

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    Organic Yogurt

    A natural probiotic, yogurt is an excellent iodine food you should add to your diet. One serving of organic yogurt has ample iodine to fulfill your daily iodine requirement. 1 cup contains approximately 90/mcg of iodine. You can also add other probiotic foods to your diet for added health benefits. Another great source of iodine is the organic bean. Most of the beans are quite rich in iodine content with the navy beans topping the list. Around 1/2 cup of the beans contain about 32/mcg of iodine. Beans are also rich in fiber which makes them a great food for boosting your digestive system. Image Courtesy : Getty

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    Sea Vegetables

    Nothing can beat the oceans at iodine content or iodine rich foods. Oceans are abundant in foods that are rich in iodine such as Kelp, Arame, Hiziki, Kombu, and Wakame. Kelp can be considered as the best iodine source in the world as only a tablespoon of Kelp offers around 2000/mcg of iodine. One regular serving of Kelp can offer 4 times more iodine than the daily requirement. Similarly, a tablespoon of Arame contains around 730/mcg of iodine, 1 tablespoon of Hiziki contains around 780/mcg of iodine, 1small piece of Kombu contains about 1000/mcg of iodine, and a tablespoon of Wakame contains about 80/mcg of iodine. Image Courtesy : Getty

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    Organic Strawberries

    Strawberries taste so good that most of us just love to eat them. However, strawberries can also offer ample iodine to meet your daily recommended requirement. The delicious red fruit packs up to 10% of your daily iodine needs in just a single serving. One cup of fresh strawberries has about 13/mcg of iodine. Instead of relying on packed strawberry juice which may be high on added sugar content, go for fresh strawberries bought from the fruit market. You can add more strawberries to your regular diet to fulfill your iodine requirements. After all not many foods taste as good as strawberries do. Image Courtesy : Getty

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    Organic Cheese

    If you still are unsure about how to add more iodine to your diet, think about raw and fresh organic cheese. Organic cheese is high in iodine, essential B vitamins, calcium, and protein. Around 25 gm of raw cheddar cheese contains about 10-15 mcg of iodine. You should consider goat’s milk cheese as it is easy on the digestive system and contains high levels of calcium and protein. However people with sensitive digestive systems or who have been recommended to avoid dairy may not find cheese as one if the options to meet the daily iodine requirements. In such cases sea vegetables, cranberries and strawberries make the perfect foods for iodine content. Image Courtesy : Getty

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    Other Sources

    Other common sources of iodine may include marine plant and animals, such as shellfish, white deep-water fish, and brown seaweed kelp. Make sure to include abundant quantities of canned sardines, canned tuna, lobster, oyster, clams, cod, haddock, halibut, herring perch, salmon, sea bass, and shrimp. Garlic, lima beans, Swiss chard, summer squash, sesame seeds, soybeans, turnip greens and spinach are rich in iodine. Iodized salt is another important source of iodine. You should replace the plain salt in the kitchen with iodized salt. It will add more taste as well as iodine to everything your cook. Image Courtesy : Getty

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