Iodine is an essen­tial min­er­al that is essen­tial for the prop­er func­tion­ing of the thy­roid gland. If it is not enough in the body, seri­ous dis­eases devel­op. But they can be pre­vent­ed — if you enrich the menu with iodine. And just adding iodized salt to the menu is not enough!

Why does the body need iodine

As a pure ele­ment, iodine is a dark, shiny stone or pur­ple dye. It is found in trace amounts in soil and water, and is found in some foods.

Iodine is very impor­tant for the health of the thy­roid gland, as it plays a large role in the pro­duc­tion of hor­mones. Giv­en that the body does not pro­duce iodine on its own, it must be obtained from food.

Ade­quate amounts of this valu­able min­er­al in the diet have been proven to help improve metab­o­lism, brain health, and hor­mone lev­els. And its defi­cien­cy is fraught with the devel­op­ment of hypothy­roidism, brain dam­age, an increase in the thy­roid gland to abnor­mal sizes (goi­ter). And if a woman expe­ri­enced a lack of iodine dur­ing preg­nan­cy, her off­spring have an increased risk of con­gen­i­tal anom­alies.

On a note!

Accord­ing to Web­MD por­tal experts, almost a third of the world’s pop­u­la­tion has a high risk of iodine defi­cien­cy.

How much iodine is required daily

How much iodine is required daily

The rec­om­mend­ed dai­ly amount of iodine depends on the age and sex of the per­son. The aver­age val­ues ​​are:

  • Chil­dren from birth to six months: 110 mcg.
  • Chil­dren sev­en months to one year old: 130 mcg.
  • Chil­dren 1 to 8 years old: 90 mcg.
  • Chil­dren 9 to 13 years old: 120 mcg.
  • Ado­les­cents 14–18 years old: 150 mcg.
  • Adults: 150 mcg.
  • Women in posi­tion: 220 mcg.
  • Nurs­ing moth­ers: 290 mcg.

On a note!

Veg­ans and peo­ple who eat lit­tle dairy, seafood, and eggs tend to need more of the min­er­al, too.

13 Foods High in Iodine

For­tu­nate­ly, get­ting iodine from food is not dif­fi­cult. They are rich in many every­day prod­ucts.

1. Seaweed

Accord­ing to Nation­al Insti­tutes of health, con­sid­ered one of the best sources of iodine. A 10-gram serv­ing of dried nori sea­weed will enrich the body with 232 micro­grams of iodine, which is almost 1.5 times the dai­ly require­ment. Nori is used to make sushi and seafood sal­ads and more.

2. Fish

No won­der in the Sovi­et Union every Thurs­day was a fish day. This brought many ben­e­fits to human health. High-qual­i­ty fish is replete with use­ful­ness, con­tains Omega‑3 fat­ty acids, phos­pho­rus, riboflavin and vit­a­min D. It is also rich in iodine.

The most valu­able sources of iodine are cod, hal­ibut and pol­lock. On aver­age, cod con­tains 158 mcg of iodine per 100 g of prod­uct, pol­lock — 1210 mcg, and hal­ibut — 18 mcg.

3. Clams

3. Clams

Crabs, scal­lops, squid, shrimp, oys­ters and oth­er types of shell­fish con­tain pro­tein, vit­a­mins and healthy fats in addi­tion to iodine. With all this, they are a dietary prod­uct — their calo­rie con­tent is min­i­mal. Due to the fact that mol­lusks absorb sea water, they abound in iodine. For exam­ple, one serv­ing of boiled shrimp con­tains 13 micro­grams of iodine.

By the way!

Just 100 grams of boiled oys­ters can pro­vide 90 micro­grams of iodine, which is more than half the dai­ly require­ment for an adult.

4. Dairy products

The con­tent of iodine in dairy prod­ucts depends on whether the cows were giv­en feed addi­tives with a valu­able sub­stance. On aver­age, one cup of milk con­tains 85 micro­grams of iodine. In addi­tion to it, milk is a source of pro­tein, cal­ci­um, phos­pho­rus, vit­a­min D and group B.

Dairy prod­ucts in the absence of health con­traindi­ca­tions should be present in the diet dai­ly.

5. Eggs

Sci­en­tists have con­clud­ed that ani­mal prod­ucts are the rich­est sources of iodine. And eggs are no excep­tion. One hard boiled egg will pro­vide the body with 26 micro­grams of iodine. And besides this — iron, folic acid, riboflavin, vit­a­mins D and E, high-qual­i­ty pro­tein.

Eggs can be eat­en whole, or you can add them to sal­ads and first cours­es, pre­pare cock­tails based on them.

6. Iodized salt

Salt enriched with iodine is right­ful­ly con­sid­ered a healthy prod­uct. But there is also a down­side to it. When using it, you should be care­ful, as excess sodi­um in the diet can lead to health prob­lems.

In addi­tion, it is impor­tant to under­stand that most of the salt in the diet does not come from the salt shak­er, but from processed foods. And in its prepa­ra­tion, iodized salt is used very rarely. That’s why it’s not enough to have a salt shak­er with the “cor­rect” salt on the table to make up for an iodine defi­cien­cy.

Did you know?

Many con­sumers believe that for the first time they began to sat­u­rate salt with iodine in the USSR, but in fact, such an idea was first born in Switzer­land in 1922.

7. Potato

7. Potato

The best way to eat pota­toes to get iodine is baked. Many peo­ple under­es­ti­mate pota­toes, but mean­while, they are rich in vit­a­min C, potas­si­um and oth­er nutri­ents. One medi­um baked pota­to con­tains about 60 micro­grams of iodine.

If you want to increase the amount of iodine, pota­toes can be sprin­kled with a lit­tle cheese. It also con­tains iodine.

8. Turkey breast

The turkey is com­mon­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the fes­tive table at Christ­mas. But you should try to serve it more often on the din­ner table and on week­days. More­over, from her breast you can cook a lot of healthy, dietary dish­es.

In addi­tion to high-qual­i­ty pro­tein, sele­ni­um and B vit­a­mins, turkey con­tains a lot of iodine. So, in 100 g of the prod­uct there will be 40 mcg.

9. Prunes

Dried plums con­tain more nutri­ents per gram of weight since they are devoid of water. In addi­tion to being high in fiber, which is good for diges­tion and can pro­vide relief from con­sti­pa­tion, prunes con­tain iodine.

One serv­ing of 5 prunes will bring 13 micro­grams of the min­er­al to the body, which cor­re­sponds to 9% of the dai­ly require­ment.

On a note!

Prunes as a food prod­uct appeared as ear­ly as the 6th cen­tu­ry BC, when the Egyp­tians noticed that some fruits do not dete­ri­o­rate in the sun, but dry out, acquir­ing a dif­fer­ent taste and use­ful prop­er­ties.

10. Canned tuna

An 85 g can of canned tuna in oil con­tains 14 micro­grams of iodine, which cor­re­sponds to 11% of the dai­ly require­ment. That said, tuna is also a great source of pro­tein, omega‑3 fat­ty acids, and vit­a­min D. And it’s a great snack for those who come home from work late and don’t have time to cook din­ner. It is use­ful to include tuna in sal­ads, to sup­ple­ment cere­als with them.

11. Sea beans

11. Sea beans

All types of legumes are good for health. And sea beans are no excep­tion. It con­tains many vit­a­mins and min­er­als, includ­ing iodine. A cup-sized serv­ing of boiled navy beans pro­vides 30 micro­grams of iodine, which is slight­ly more than 20% of the dai­ly val­ue.

Beans are easy to add to your diet. It can be used as one of the sal­ad ingre­di­ents, as a fill­ing for pies and pies, added to soups and main dish­es.

12. Canned corn

It is often added to sal­ads, along with beans. It’s tasty, juicy, nutri­tious and ver­sa­tile. Many prod­ucts are per­fect­ly com­bined with it, and there­fore it is easy to intro­duce it into the dai­ly diet.

Half a cup of canned corn will pro­vide 14 micro­grams of iodine, which is equal to 10% of the dai­ly val­ue.

13. Meat by-products

Once they were con­sid­ered food for the poor, and today they are used to pre­pare dish­es wor­thy of the fes­tive table. There are many use­ful sub­stances in offal, and their cost is low­er than meat. A beef liv­er weigh­ing 70 grams will have 32 micro­grams of iodine.

Eat right, enrich the menu with prod­ucts with iodine and be healthy!

Expert com­ment

Olga Lush­niko­va, nutri­tion­ist

Olga Lushnikova, nutritionistFor opti­mal func­tion­ing of the thy­roid gland (like any oth­er organ), the body must receive all the nec­es­sary macronu­tri­ents (pro­teins, fats and car­bo­hy­drates) and micronu­tri­ents (vit­a­mins and min­er­als), but some of them should still be empha­sized.

It should be not­ed that the thy­roid gland is extreme­ly sen­si­tive to dras­tic calo­rie restric­tion. When los­ing weight, this fact must be tak­en into account. Any rigid diets can lead to changes in the func­tion­ing of the thy­roid gland, and as a result, hor­mon­al dis­or­ders.

On the oth­er hand, obe­si­ty can also cause a mal­func­tion of this impor­tant endocrine organ, lead­ing to hypothy­roidism (decreased pro­duc­tion of thy­roid hor­mones).

To main­tain thy­roid func­tion, you should increase your intake of cer­tain nutri­ents.

  • Iodine. There are regions with insuf­fi­cient con­tent in soil, plants, water, which leads to dam­age to the thy­roid gland in local res­i­dents. With insuf­fi­cient intake of iodine in the body, endem­ic goi­ter with hypothy­roidism devel­ops. Food sources of iodine: cod liv­er, sea­weed, any sea fish, squid, shrimp, egg yolk; legumes, milk, per­sim­mon, blue­ber­ries, fei­joa.
  • The amino acid tyro­sine. It is an impor­tant com­po­nent for the syn­the­sis of thy­roid hor­mones. Tyro­sine is a non-essen­tial amino acid, i. eas­i­ly syn­the­sized in the body. It is abun­dant in nuts, seeds, dairy, parme­san, fish, beef, chick­en, and wild rice.
  • Vit­a­min D. Reg­u­lates the func­tion­ing of the thy­roid gland, its defi­cien­cy is asso­ci­at­ed with its autoim­mune dis­eases, for exam­ple, Hashimo­to’s dis­ease. Vit­a­min sources: egg yolks, beef liv­er, fat­ty fish, fish roe, hard cheese, chanterelle mush­rooms.
  • Sele­ni­um. It is part of the impor­tant deio­d­i­nase enzyme involved in the for­ma­tion of the thy­roid hor­mone thy­rox­ine (T4). To get the required amount of sele­ni­um, you need to include fish (salmon, sar­dines, her­ring), Brazil nuts, chick­en, turkey, gar­lic, eggs, mush­rooms and oth­er foods in your diet every day.
  • Iron. The thy­roid gland is very sen­si­tive to insuf­fi­cient oxy­gen (hypox­ia), any ane­mia can dis­rupt its work. There­fore, it is impor­tant to con­sume foods con­tain­ing iron: red meat, organ meats, seafood, legumes, green leafy veg­eta­bles, whole grains. For opti­mal absorp­tion of iron, it is nec­es­sary to include both veg­etable and ani­mal sources in the diet, com­bine it with vit­a­min C (berries, herbs, rose hips, pome­gran­ate, etc.) and B vit­a­mins.
  • Vit­a­min B12. Defi­cien­cy ane­mia also affects the func­tion­ing of the thy­roid gland, lead­ing to a decrease in hor­mone pro­duc­tion and, as a result, a decrease in its func­tion. Vit­a­min B12 defi­cien­cy is often observed in veg­e­tar­i­ans, because the main sources of this vit­a­min are ani­mal prod­ucts: meat, fish, poul­try, offal, seafood, hard cheeses.

In addi­tion, for opti­mal thy­roid func­tion, you need:

  • Zinc. Con­tained in seafood, oys­ters, liv­er, chick­en, cheese.
  • Vit­a­min A (retinol). Its sources are liv­er, eggs, but­ter, meat, poul­try, cheese; orange veg­eta­bles and fruits, green leafy veg­eta­bles.
  • Omega‑3 polyun­sat­u­rat­ed fat­ty acids. They con­tain any fat­ty sea fish, fish caviar, olive, hemp and oth­er oils, flax and chia seeds.

Thus, a var­ied, bal­anced diet will help main­tain thy­roid health for a long time.

If any signs of a vio­la­tion of its work appear, you need to seek help from an endocri­nol­o­gist who will pre­scribe the nec­es­sary stud­ies and treat­ment if nec­es­sary.

Shut­ter­stock pho­to mate­ri­als used

Is There an Ide­al Diet to Pro­tect against Iodine Defi­cien­cy? / Krela-Kaźmier­czak I., Czarny­wo­jtek A., Sko­rac­ka K. // Nutri­ents - 2021

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